Since 2000, there have been over 700,000 deaths associated with substance abuse in America. A study by discovered that as of 2020, over half of the population aged 12 or over had tried illicit drugs at least once.

But with an increase in substance abuse and prescription drug and opioid abuse on the rise in America, identifying the signs of drug addiction can help you to help a person stuck in this lifestyle and allow them to get the support they need.

Drug Addiction in America

Some more interesting stats from the survey indicate that there has been a 3.8% year-on-year increase in Americans aged 12 and over having used drugs in the previous month. 25.4% of illegal drug users have a substance use disorder.

With increasing rates of people abusing drugs, from marijuana, the most common illicit drug taken in the US, to cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioids, ensuring access to treatment facilities to support recovery from addiction and regain sobriety is vital for getting people the support they need. 

Whether it is checking a rehab facility using a combination of traditional and modern therapy techniques to tackle the root cause behind the addiction. Using partial hospitalization options to recover from addiction and choosing a treatment program to assist in sobriety that looks beyond the addiction and deals with the reason behind the substance abuse can help users live a healthier, cleaner lifestyle with sustained longevity in their recovery.

Signs of Drug Addiction

The signs of drug addiction can appear differently from person to person. They will be dictated by their lifestyle, the type of substance they are abusing, and their ability to access the drug and money to support their habit.

While physical signs in users can be similar, knowing the lifestyle changes and factors to look for can be a big help too.

Physical health signs include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Changes in energy levels
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Weight loss
  • Unusual bodily smells
  • Poor skin tone
  • Lethargy/low-energy

Physiological signs of drug abuse include:

  • Changes in personality
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Altered behavior

Behavioral signs of drug abuse:

  • Missing school/work/important appointments etc
  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Changes in how they dress and attention to their appearance
  • Spending more money than usual or borrowing money to spend on drugs
  • Distracted behavior due to being focused on taking/sourcing/finding drugs
  • Inability to carry out typical day-to-day activities such as food shopping, cleaning the home, paying bills on time
  • Shutting themselves away and an increased desire for privacy
  • Changes in social habits, changing friendship groups
  • Legal trouble, getting arrested, committing crimes, etc 

If you are concerned about drug abuse in adolescents, signs to look out for can include a sudden drop in grades or a change in habits, such as not studying as much or going more often than they previously did. 

Spending time with new friends and neglecting previous friendship circles, getting into more trouble at school, missing school, increased irritability, and changes in sleeping habits.

Getting Help for Substance Abuse

Knowing how to tackle substance abuse and getting the right help for addiction can be a complex topic to bring up, so it is essential to know your options so you can offer a complete line of support to help someone with a substance use disorder and reliance on drugs to get the treatment they need.

Likely, someone in the grip of a drug addiction won’t be able to see they have a problem or be receptive to getting help and treatment, so preparing yourself for an adverse reaction will be required. Many questions will be asked about entering rehab, which can range from what will happen to their school or college admission while at rehab, who will look after any children involved, who will pay the bills, who will lose their job, and so on. 

You might not be able to answer all of the questions, but being ready to tackle the practicalities of someone entering rehab can put you in a better position to offer help regardless of if you or they bring up the subject of treatment for drug addiction.

Finding treatment centers that offer the correct type of program for recovery can be challenging as each center will provide a different approach. Look at the lifestyle factors to determine whether or not an intensive outpatient program can be beneficial or if opting for an inpatient program would work better. 

In many cases, rehab services can be included in health insurance premiums, or checking with your provider can give you an option for payment and let you know all your options regarding getting the proper treatment.


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