The use of most substances will produce noticeable signs and symptoms. These may include physical or behavioral symptoms—most likely both. After taking oxycodone for a certain period of time, the body starts to depend on it to function normally.
Depending on many factors, someone struggling with addiction might go to great lengths to hide the physical signs or treat the symptoms with total apathy. The areas of the brain affected and changed by drug abuse are the same areas of the brain that control cognition and include learning, memory, and higher reasoning. This disrupts normal functions and may cause a deficit in memory.
How to Help Someone with a Drug Addiction?
Some may forget they haven’t taken care of themselves because of the mental effects of their drug use. Others simply stop caring as their time is consumed by the high and then getting more of their drug so they can get high https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/warning-signs-of-drug-use-and-addiction/ again. People with drug addictions continue to use drugs compulsively despite the harmful consequences. About 18.7 million (1 in 12) adults in the United States will have a substance use disorder (SUD) in their lifetime.
Addiction involves both the mind and the body—and every other facet of existence, because they all interact. There is no real distinction between physical addiction and psychological addiction. Substances of abuse affect the reward system of the brain, mediated by the neurotransmitter dopamine. The physical changes to the pleasure-experiencing centers of the brain induce physical changes to the prefrontal cortex, weakening the capacity for decision-making and impulse control. If you or a loved one need treatment for a drug or alcohol use disorder, you can search recovery resources by zip code or call The Recovery Village.
Is OxyContin (oxycodone) a controlled substance?
« Stimulants cause vasoconstriction of your vessels and increase your need for oxygen, » said Eric Weintraub, the director of addiction research and treatment at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. « Opioids do the opposite, they actually decrease your respiration so less oxygen is delivered to the body. » If your loved one exhibits these signs and avoids their regular hobbies or routines, such as exercising or attending church, a drinking problem may exist. Even for users who have recognized symptoms of addiction in themselves, misunderstanding gets in the way of support. Both stimulants and depressants alter the activity of hormones responsible for tiredness and wakefulness.
Unexplained or seemingly unprovoked mood swings can occur when someone is struggling with addiction. When the person is high, they may be hyperactive, affectionate or excitable. As soon as the high wears off and withdrawal symptoms set in, they may become angry, irritable or even verbally abusive. Awareness of effective medical treatments for opioid addiction, including drugs like suboxone and methadone, has increased over the years.
Cocaine Anonymous (CA) Meetings, 12 Steps, and Addiction Treatment
Treatment for drug addiction may involve psychotherapy, medication, hospitalization, support groups, or a combination. A survey of over 500 British antidepressant users found that most experienced severe withdrawal effects when they tried to stop, yet few received any help to come off safely. While consumption of any illicit drug can be dangerous from a toxicological perspective, it can also create problems from a behavioral perspective. Intoxication with alcohol is a major cause of traffic accidents and violence to others. You devote increasing amounts of time planning to get drugs or worrying about where your next dose is coming from. You find yourself rummaging through other people’s medicine cabinets in search of drugs.
Not all drugs require anything to use them, but you might see other items that point to misuse. For example, medicine bottles from more than one doctor can be a sign of prescription drug abuse. And friends or family members are the first to notice something has changed.
When use of that substance stops abruptly, cessation disrupts all the adaptations to that substance the brain has made; over time, it will adapt to absence of the drug—but that process takes time. They can be set in motion by past memories or current environmental cues relating to substance use and are thought to be a force behind relapse, although they are not a clinically consistent predictor of relapse. Any cue with emotional significance registers on the brain’s amygdala, which then activates the nucleus accumbens and its dopamine neurons. Their activation gives rise to the sense of motivation, experienced as a highly focused urge to seek the substance.
Being Dishonest or Sneaky, Hiding Things, or Needing Increased Privacy. Most people are not going to be very public about their drug use, especially if it’s to an illegal substance. You may notice your loved one is lying about where they are or who they’re with. Maybe their story keeps changing, and they can never seem to be honest about what they’ve been up to. They may try to sneak in or out of the house, try to hide their drugs in their room or car, and they may spend more time alone in their room with the door locked.
An increasing problem, prescription drug abuse can affect all age groups, including teens. The prescription drugs most often misused include opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medicines, sedatives and stimulants. It may be done by family and friends in consultation with a health care provider or mental health professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional. It involves family and friends and sometimes co-workers, clergy or others who care about the person struggling with addiction. Side effects can include slight alterations to physical appearance that may start to become noticeable. Bloodshot or red eyes and pinpoint or dilated pupils are all telling signs of many types of drug abuse.
- Talk with your health care provider or see a mental health provider, such as a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.
- Cravings, or deep desire for a substance, arise from alterations in reactivity patterns of nerves in the brain’s reward center.
- Illegal drugs pose special risks of toxic contamination and/or accidental overdose as a result of substitution with underground agents of unknown potency.
- None of them is definitive, and there may be many other causes, but the presence of multiple signs merits special consideration.