Signs of Addiction in Students

Warning Signs of Addiction

Although each type of drug has its own unique “signs of use” some common behaviors run at the heart of all addictions. One or all of these signs may be present:

  • Lying about drug or alcohol use
  • Avoiding friends and family members
  • Displaying, developing or exhibiting antisocial behaviors or in isolation
  • Spending more time with drug-using friends
  • Talking about drugs or alcohol and using slang drug terminology
  • Having to have a drink or drugs to be happy
  • Becoming involved with the law
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Failing to take care of obligations at work or school
  • Experiencing depressed or suicidal thoughts

Narcotics use can produce: Inability to feel pain; sedation and unresponsiveness; euphoria; shallow breathing; small pupils and bloodshot eyes; nausea and vomiting; confusion and poor judgment; and possible needle marks on skin.

Stimulant abuse can result in: Euphoria; excessive talkativeness and laughing; decreased appetite; weight loss; anxiety and paranoia; inability or lack of need for sleep; irritability, aggression and restlessness; increased heart and lung function resulting in heavy breathing.

Depressants can cause: slurred speech; loss of balance; impulsivity; loss of self-control; impaired vision and hearing; blackouts; and slow heart rate and difficulty breathing.

Hallucinogen abuse can be detected by: dilated pupils; warm skin, excessive perspiration and strong body odor; disorientation and distorted sight, hearing and touch; and mood and behavior changes.

Marijuana use can be attributed to: quickened heart rate; redness of the eyes; dry mouth; lack of concentration; limited coordination; delayed reaction time; and reduced short-term memory. Long-term use of marijuana can cause an increased risk of heart attack, palpitation, and arrhythmias; lung cancer; respiratory problems similar to tobacco-users; and loss of cognitive function.

Anabolic Steroids have a variety of distinct warning signs and effects, including: rapid and otherwise unexplained weight gain; acne; insomnia; excessive energy; visible increase in muscle mass; impotency; and fluid/water retention. Long-term effects of anabolic steroid use include: bacterial infections from injections; stunted growth in teenagers; rapid heartbeat; heart attack; inability of blood to clot properly, and damage to vital organs including the liver and reproductive organs.

Inhalants have a wide range of telltale signs including: strong and persistent headaches; dizziness; disorientation; lack of coordination; changes in mood and behavior; excessive unexplained weight loss; and nose bleeds.

For more information about the signs and side effects of controlled substances, drug abuse, and addiction, refer to the links below:

General Signs of Drug Possible Drug Abuse
Substance Abuse and College Life
What is Substance Abuse, Dependence, and Chemical Dependence?
Substance Abuse FAQs
Signs of Marijuana Abuse
Cocaine Use: Long and Short-Term Effects
National Survey on Drug Use and Statistics
Prescription Drug Abuse: The Invisible Epidemic
Narcotics Abuse Overview
Heroin Abuse in the United States
Abuse vs. Dependence