Have you noticed signs that your loved one may be abusing drugs? This belief is always heartbreaking, but getting to the bottom of it means you can begin exploring ways to get help.

In this blog from The Cabin we explore the most common symptoms of drug abuse, so you can be sure whether the person you care about is hooked on drugs. We first explore general drug abuse symptoms, before moving on to specifics for each family of drugs.

Symptoms of Drug Abuse

General Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Here are some symptoms of drug abuse that you may notice in your loved one, no matter what drug they are abusing.

Weight Loss

Many drugs cause weight loss, either through increased metabolism, decreased food consumption, or both. Stimulants cause the most pronounced weight loss, with users often losing several kilos per week when they first begin using the drug. This is due to an accelerated metabolic rate combined with excessive activity and little sleep.

Opioid users may also lose weight due to the lifestyle associated with heroin use, and slightly suppressed appetite.

Altered and Unusual Behaviour

All drugs can wreak havoc on the mind, causing a change in behaviours. This can take the form of avoidant behaviour or showing signs of lying, distrust or paranoia where this may not seem to be a normal response.  A change in habits and who the person is spending time with may also present as a change in behaviour. If your loved one has begun acting unusually, they may be showing symptoms of drug abuse.

Unkempt Appearance

If the person you care about is not taking care of themselves at the moment, they may be depressed. However, it is common for people who are addicted to drugs to lose the motivation to look after themselves. They may wear worn-out clothes, smell bad, or keep an untidy house.

Symptoms of Opioid Abuse

The easiest symptom of opioid abuse is pinprick pupils. All opioids cause this effect to varying degrees. The stronger the opioid and the more of the drug they have used the more pronounced this effect. Tolerance also plays a factor, with opioid-naive users being more affected.

When an opioid user is particularly inebriated they can begin to slur their words, have drooping eyes, and even begin to fall asleep. Users may fall asleep sitting down or even standing up. This symptom of drug abuse can be particularly distressing for loved ones.

Signs You May Not Know Opioid users may also begin scratching themselves, as opioid use releases histamine in the body. An Opioid user may scratch themself to the extent that they have cuts on their face and body.

It is common for experienced opioid abusers to “get away” with opioid use, as it can be easy for them to function normally while under the influence. Often the tell-tale sign that someone is using opioids only occurs when they run out of opioids and go into opioid withdrawal. Users in opioid withdrawal look like they have the flu, and may also experience diarrhoea and vomiting, amongst many other deeply unpleasant symptoms.

The suffering caused by opioid abuse is the main reason why The Cabin Rehab in Chiang Mai always recommends a medical detox to people who want to stop abusing opioids. At our site, opioid-addicted clients are supported around the clock and are given medications designed to significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms. This creates a much more manageable withdrawal experience.

Can’t Stop Popping Pills?

Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse

The symptoms of drug abuse for stimulants have a unique pattern, though there is some variability depending on the stimulant used. Cocaine users often stay awake all night, feeling scattered and paranoid the next day. They may also show symptoms of nosebleeds and may seek financial assistance due to cocaine’s high price.

People who use crystal meth often stay awake for days at a time. Methamphetamine is perhaps the most harmful drug to the mind, and it is common for meth users to become paranoid, anxious and sometimes psychotic after not using the drug for long.

Symptoms of Cannabis Abuse

Cannabis abuse symptoms, like opioid abuse symptoms, are easier to detect in those who are less familiar with the drug. When someone has a long history of taking cannabis, they are likely to seem relatively sober while under the influence.

Symptoms of Cannabis AbuseSomeone who has recently begun using cannabis is more likely to show symptoms of drug abuse like red eyes, dry mouth, giggling, laughing and bizarre conversations. The most obvious symptom of cannabis use is the odour of cannabis.

Depending on the degree of severity of your loved one’s cannabis addiction, they may be suitable for outpatient treatment at our rehab centre in Singapore. This centre treats people with addictions to all drugs and is ideal for Singapore residents who are unable to travel for addiction treatment.

Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Abuse

Benzodiazepine abuse can cause people to become sleepy, absentminded and unmotivated. When someone combines benzodiazepines with alcohol, they may become belligerent and aggressive.

As with opioid abuse, a benzo abuser may become more apparent when they stop using this drug. Withdrawal symptoms from benzos include anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and fatal seizures. The Cabin always provides clients who are addicted to benzos with a taper programme, to reduce these symptoms.

The Cabin Addiction Treatment Centre in Chiang Mai

Drug Treatment at The Cabin Chiang MaiIf you have spotted the symptoms of drug abuse in your loved one, the next step is getting treatment. The Cabin treats all those who are addicted to drugs with compassion and care. We know how difficult quitting drugs is, which is why our centre strives to provide the best service possible for our clients.

The Cabin also offers counselling on an intensive outpatient basis in Singapore in a private and discreet setting

For more information on how The Cabin’s luxurious environment and dedicated and supportive staff can help your loved one get better, contact us today at +65 3158 7621.