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Signs that someone is using drugs


Toxic substances, drugs are at the origin of several cases of addiction. Classified as depressant, stimulant, hallucinogenic or disturbing drugs, they must all be taken seriously.

Here, in this article, VillaRamadas reveals what is behind the consumption of this type of substance, but also the signs that you should keep an eye out for. If you believe your friend/loved one is engaging in substance abuse behavior, this is the first step to help. Recognizing the signs, the next step is to reach out and help. If you identify with these behaviors yourself, this is the first step to asking for help.

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Causes for drug use

Society Pressure
© Yasin Yusuf/Unsplash

Before recognizing warning signs of excessive consumption, and anticipating a recovery process, it is necessary to know the reason for drug consumption. Since the cause is not something transversal to all addicts, the excessive consumption of drugs can be caused by several factors.

Whether psychiatric and/or psychological, familiarity with substances from the family context, or the direct influence of other people, drug use is synonymous with a greater psychological problem.

VillaRamadas can help you to understand the reason for excessive consumption but also how to deal with it. Talk to us if you think you are entering a situation of dependence, or if you believe you can help someone in that situation.

Warning signs of drug use

In any situation of suspected drug use,the approach must be careful and never aggressive. Suspicion is not synonymous with truth, so the most important thing is to show total availability to the person in question.

The topic must be approached without a tone of accusation and always with a view to understanding the real problem that is at the origin of drug consumption. Knowing that the person in question may deny or lie about the situation, warning signs can be signaled as a way of showing that they are interested and that they really want to help.

Drug Use
© Yoann Boyer/Unsplash

Below we list some of the warning signs when you start to develop a drug addiction. We emphasize that each case is unique and that is why the signs are not the same for everyone; the signs may vary by the person in question but also by the particular drug.

Physical signs

Whenever the excessive use of drugs translates into a transformation at the bodily level, we are faced with physical signs of dependence.The most common are:

  • Red eyes / excessive tears;
  • Change in pupil size;
  • Abrupt weight changes;
  • Difficulty in motor coordination;
  • Tremors for no apparent reason;
  • Changes in heart rate and blood pressure;
  • Change in type of speech (slurred speech for example);
  • Marks on the skin from constant exposure to toxic substances;
  • Lack of personal care.

Psychological signs

While some of these signs are more common in cases of hallucinogenic or disturbing drug use, others are often present in various types of drugs. It is important to realize that psychological signals are directly related to the person’s mental state (and actions derived therefrom).

Mental State
© Usman Yousaf/Unsplash

In this group we include:

  • Low self esteem;
  • Memory loss;
  • Feelings of constant fear or anxiety (and for no apparent reason)
  • Personality changes and mood states;
  • Moments of hyperactivity only at certain times of the day;
  • Increased irritability and angry outbursts;
  • Disinterest in daily activities and hobbies;
  • Lack of ability to concentrate;
  • Hallucinations (at this point it is important to understand the origin as it may also be an indication of a mental illness).

Behavioral signs

The very act of drug consumption potentiates the change in behavior immediately afterward, but the effect can last over time. When consumption becomes an addiction, the change in the addict’s behavior in social and professional life reflects his inner struggle.

© Annie Spratt/Unsplash

These are potential warning signs:

  • Social isolation from friends and family;
  • Drop in productivity;
  • Behavioral change in the face of work or social commitments;
  • Continuous insistence on risky behavior

How to help someone stop using drugs

The watchwords for helping drug addiction cases are willingness, patience and compassion. Not being an easy or immediate process, drug addiction is treatable but always adjusted to the person in question.

The first step in helping someone to stop using drugs is to show that there is a support system for the next steps. And, consequently, that only the commitment to a multidisciplinary team can help in solving the problem.

At VillaRamadas we have a multidisciplinary team specialized in drug addiction treatment. Through a program adapted to each patient, we help in the relationship with drugs, trying to show how to resume a life free of chemical substances. Contact us to find out more about our treatments and how we can help you.


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