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5 Ways to Detect Emotional Symptoms of Possible Drug Abuse

5 Ways to Detect Emotional Symptoms of Possible Drug Abuse

Look for signs of depression or mania to detect drug abuse

Drug abuse can bring with it a wide range of emotional consequences that can be difficult to understand. It can also be difficult to differentiate between normal and abnormal emotions. Many drug abusers can have emotional symptoms that are attributed to situations not related to drug abuse, making it difficult for friends and family members to detect a possible drug problem. However, there are methods to better detect if abnormal emotions are a result of drug abuse or not. Five ways to detect emotional symptoms of possible drug abuse include the following:

  • Symptoms occur or worsen directly after a suspected drug use. Many of the emotional symptoms arise or peak directly following an episode of drug use and while under the influence of the drug. Take note of when the symptoms typically occur or worsen and if it is after a suspected drug use.
  • Symptoms arise suddenly without reason. Normal emotional symptoms often arise due to an identifiable reason or cause. One of the telltale signs that emotional symptoms are related to drug abuse or some other disorder is that they arise unexpectedly and suddenly without an identifiable reason. Many drug abusers experience bizarre mood swings that shift without warning.
  • Symptoms vary between depression and mania. Depending on the drug abused, an abuser can experience varying emotional states between depression and mania. A drug user may seem to be depressed or irritable at one moment and then soon after become easily excitable.
  • Symptoms coincide with physical signs of abuse. The emotional symptoms of drug abuse are not the only way to detect a possible drug problem. There are typically numerous physical signs of abuse that coincide with the emotional symptoms. Dilated pupils, the smell of certain drugs on clothing and hair, needle marks on arms and unusual sinus changes can all be indicators of drug abuse.
  • Symptoms coincide with behavioral changes. A person abusing drugs will display abnormal behavioral changes along with unusual emotional symptoms. Drug abusers can often become unusually distant and secretive. They may develop altered beliefs or personal values and acquire a new set of friends that they try to keep separate from everyone else. Frequently missed classes or shunned responsibilities along with stealing and lying are common indicators of drug abuse.

Knowing how to differentiate between normal emotions and abnormal emotional symptoms of drug abuse is essential to being able to get a loved one the help he or she needs to recover. Some of the most common emotional symptoms of drug abuse include the following:

  • Defensiveness
  • Difficulty coping with stress
  • Irritability
  • Mania
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive drowsiness or relaxation
  • Denial

Seeking out immediate professional treatment for problems with drug abuse is essential to avoiding the serious physical and mental health consequences of continued abuse. Drug abuse can lead to physical dependence and the development of addiction.

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