How to know if someone is addicted to drugs

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs

Once you know the ways to tell if someone is addicted to drugs it can be fairly easy to spot. Before knowing the signs of addiction it can be almost impossible to notice as well as understand what is going on with someone who has a drug problem. If you think there may even be a slight chance that someone you know is addicted to drugs then read on. In fact, if you think there is a chance you, yourself, might be addicted to drugs, then also, read on. This blog will explain how to know if someone is addicted to drugs.


  • They are neglecting their responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting their children) because of their drug use.
  • They are using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
  • Their drug use is getting them into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit. 
  • Their drug use is causing problems in their relationships, such as fights with their partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.

How to Know if someone is Addicted to Drugs for the drug user

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same affects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
  • You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
  • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
  • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—but you use anyway

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Physical warning signs of drug addiction

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Behavioral signs of drug addiction

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

How to know if someone is addicted to drugs: Psychological warning signs of drug addiction

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason

If you think you know someone is addicted to drugs the next step would be to try and help them or if it is you addicted to drugs, help yourself. There are many resources available today for people who are addicted to drugs including interventions, detox programs, inpatient treatment programs, outpatient programs and so much more. Someone who is addicted to drugs is going to need help. If they are unwilling to get help you cannot force them into getting better, remember that. What you can do, is let them know there is a way out if they want it.

Recovery and the Workplace

Recovery and the workplaceRecovery and the Workplace

Addiction recovery in the workplace is a tricky subject. For many addicts, having a job is crucial to recovery, but there is often a negative stigma attached to addiction, even when the addict is in recovery. We know that almost seventy percent of people who are struggling with addiction are employed, but when recovering addicts return to work after treatment, they aren’t always embraced.

Recovery and the Workplace: Getting Help

Many think that all addicts and alcoholics are living under a bridge somewhere, unemployed and doing whatever it takes to get drugs. This may be true for some addicts and alcoholics, but the vast majority are employed. Studies show, however, that many Human Resources departments don’t know how to handle an employee with an addiction. 92% of the ones surveyed say that there are resources available for employees with an addiction, but 38% said that no employees used that help.

There is a lot of evidence that recovery could start in the workplace, when people are educated on how to handle addiction in a work environment. The workplace can be an excellent place for interventions. While people suffering from addiction may be willing to sacrifice their home, friendships and even their family, many are not ready to risk their primary source of income. Often if their employer is involved in an intervention, they are much more likely to seek help.

Recovery and the Workplace: Should you tell your employer you are in recovery?

So what if your workplace doesn’t know you are in recovery. Should you tell them? My first sponsor had very strong opinions about recovery and the workplace. She said that it was important to keep your recovery and your work separate. She had nearly 25 years of sobriety and none of her colleagues knew she was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. She firmly believed that letting an employer know that you were recovering was detrimental to your career.

She may be right. Studies show that 25% of employers say they would be less likely to hire or promote someone in recovery. Ignorance and prejudice can make it hard for a person in recovery to land that first job after treatment. This is why some experts advise not talking about your addiction during an interview.

Recovery and the Workplace: The bottom line

There is a reason that many employers are hesitant to hire people in recovery. Obviously, drugs and the workplace do not mix, and those who abuse drugs and alcohol, take more sick days, are less productive, and are far more likely to jump from job to job. Even if someone is in recovery, it doesn’t mean they will stay sober. On the flipside, there are some studies that suggest that recovery and the workplace can be very positive. If someone is working a good recovery program they are likely to be more accountable, take fewer sick days, and work harder than there “normal” counterparts.

Recovery and the Workplace: Addiction as a disease

Ideally, every employer would be educated about addiction and would treat addiction just like any other disease. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case. The negative stigma surrounding recovery and the workplace is still very strong.