What to look for if you suspect a loved one has a drug problem

A recent study by the University of Cincinnati revealed a startling fact: 1 in 5 Ohio residents know someone addicted to heroin. This alarming statistic doesn’t include the many other drugs causing addiction.

In conjunction with 2016’s International Overdose Awareness Day, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a new poster to help recognize the telltale signs of opiate addiction. The poster, titled “Drug Addiction Affects All Ohioans” listed several warning signs that may go undetected including small or pinpoint pupils, sudden dramatic weight loss, and rapid mood swings.

First, let’s understand how drug addiction can happen:

  • Social connections – peer pressure or just a need to fit in can become the catalyst toward drug abuse and addiction. Most people try drugs for the first time in a social setting.
  • The slippery slope – Casual drug use can turn into a habit. And over time that habit can become a full-fledged addiction that didn’t seem possible when it was just something to do with friends on the weekend.
  • Prescription drugs – This can be very tricky. They can be accidentally abused, and if you notice your loved one needs a higher dosage to achieve the same result, then there could be a drug dependency happening.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse’s 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs recreationally for the first time.

Here are some common behavioral traits that may signal substance use…(continue reading)