For many people, drug or alcohol addiction starts innocently with experimental use in social settings. Family members typically don’t worry about some experimentation, as this can be a ‘normal’ part of growing up. However, some teens are at a higher risk for addiction and gradually move past normal experimentation and into more regular drug use.

If this is the situation you’re facing, you’re probably wondering how you can identify drug and alcohol use in your loved one. After all, people who are addicted can be very effective manipulators. They lie to cover up their behavior and avoid facing their addiction.

Let’s look at some of the ways that you can identify substance abuse in your family member. It’s important to get the facts before confronting them about a Newport Beach drug detox program.

How Does Drug Use Typically Start?

Substance abuse typically begins in adolescence when teens start experimenting with various drugs and alcohol in social settings. Some children start abusing drugs before high school, around the ages of 12 and 13. Sadly, the sooner a person starts using drugs, the higher their risk for addiction.

The most commonly abused drugs among preteens and teens are marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs like anti-anxiety meds and sedatives. For some teens, their substance use progresses to other drugs like cocaine or ecstasy.

Opioids are a bit different. This addiction usually starts with a prescription painkiller, such as after a procedure or sports injury. The person will then start taking higher doses of pain medication to get the same effects. When they can no longer get prescription opioids, some move onto harder drugs like heroin.

What are the Signs that Someone is Abusing Drugs?

It’s important to know how drug use progresses because this will help you understand the trajectory that families go through. No one wakes up one morning and discovers that their loved one is suddenly using drugs. It’s a progression that starts with some experimentation (which you may or may not be aware of) and evolves into more frequent and debilitating drug use.

When looking for signs of drug abuse in a person, it’s helpful to know that there are physical, emotional, behavioral and social changes. These signs and symptoms may vary based on the drugs the person is using. For example, methamphetamines give the body a rush of energy, pleasure and euphoria. Alcohol is a depressant that causes people to feel drowsy and uncoordinated.

Below are some of the signs that your family member may be ready for a luxury drug rehab in Newport Beach.

Physical changes

Physical changes are often some of the first signs that something is wrong. As a person spends more time using drugs, they begin to neglect their hygiene habits, as well as their sleeping, eating and exercise routines. As a result, you may notice that your loved one looks malnourished.

Let’s look in more detail at some of the physical changes to be aware of:

  • Glassy, red eyes, a lack of motivation and periods of laughter can indicate marijuana use.
  • Drugs like cocaine and crystal meth often cause patterns of euphoria and hyperactivity, followed by excessive sleep or feelings of depression.
  • Drugs like barbiturates, tranquilizers and alcohol often cause coordination problems, slurred sleep, a lack of judgment and overall tiredness.
  • Heroin is a hard drug that typically results in sweating, twitching, vomiting, a loss of appetite and unusual sleeping habits. Needle marks are also common.
  • Hallucinogens like LSD generally show up in behavioral ways, such as paranoia, aggression or confusion. A person might also have dilated pupils.

Behavioral and psychological changes

Behavioral changes are common with addiction because drug use affects the brain. In fact, repeated drug use can cause long-term brain damage, making it difficult to quit. Keep in mind that behavioral symptoms can also be a sign of a co-occurring mental health condition. The addiction may be the driving force behind it, or the person may be using drugs to cope with the symptoms.

Common behavioral changes in people with addiction are:

  • Losing interest in hobbies and activities that were once important, as well as a change in friends
  • Becoming depressed and developing a negative outlook on life
  • Uncharacteristic mood swings and personality shifts, including nervousness, anxiety, irritability and emotional outbursts
  • Changes in work or academic performance
  • Secretiveness and dishonesty, especially when being questioned about their whereabouts
  • Attitudes of combativeness and defensiveness

Where to Find Help for a Person with Drug Addiction

It’s important to point out that addiction treatment in Newport Beach is continuum-based, meaning that you don’t have to wait until your family member hits rock bottom to access care. Even if your loved one has a mild addiction, they can still enter a treatment program and get the support they need to kick their habit and lead a healthy life.

Newport Beach Recovery Center provides detox, residential and outpatient treatment services. As clients progress through our program, they can “step down” to lower levels of care. Everything is done under one roof, giving you the peace of mind that your loved one is receiving personalized and consistent care from one dedicated treatment team.

If you believe that your family member is abusing drugs, contact Newport Beach Recovery Center today. We can verify your insurance and prepare you for the intake process so that you can confront them with confidence.