What Does an Addict Look Like?

guy in need of help
Guy addicted to drugs

What Does an Addict Look Like? While there are a variety of different debilitating conditions that can preclude an individual from living a productive and positive life, drug addiction can have a particularly negative effect on a person’s life. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that drug addiction can have adverse physical and mental effects while simultaneously alienating the addict from his or her family. Despite the fact that drug addiction can negatively impact an individual’s life, viable solutions for the problem are available. By learning more about what addiction looks like, you can help either yourself or your family member attain diagnosis and treatment that results in permanent recovery.

Drug Addiction-The Basics

Although broadly defined, drug addiction is basically a physiological dependence on a potentially harmful substance that frequently prevents one’s mind and body from functioning optimally. There are a plethora of drugs that individuals can be addicted to, including marijuana, cocaine, prescription medication, heroin, psychotherapeutics, and more. According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse, the use of illicit drug use in the U.S. is on the rise. In 2011, for example, there were about 22.5 million Americans aged 12 and up that had taken an illicit drug or abused medications like tranquilizers, stimulants, or pain relievers within the past month. This statistic marks a rise of 8.3% from 2002. NIDA reports that most of this rise in drug use results from marijuana, which is the most frequently used illicit drug.

Drug Addiction Symptoms

Individuals who suspect that a friend or family member may be a drug addict should note that there are a plethora of different physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms that can function as tell-tale signs. Here are some of them:


Some of the physical signs of drug addiction include:

  • Unusual smells on body, clothing, or breath
  • Lack of personal grooming and/or deterioration of physical appearance
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
  • Changes in sleep and appetite patterns.
  • Sudden weight gain or weight loss
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination


Some of the behavioral signs of drug addiction include:

  • Decrease in performance and/or attendance at work and school
  • Perpetual, unexplained financial problems and/or need for money
  • Suspicious, secretive behaviors
  • Sudden change in hobbies, hangouts, and/or friends
  • Increase in illegal activities, accidents, and/or fights


Some of the psychological signs of drug addiction include:

  • Inexplicable changes in attitude and/or personality
  • Sudden angry outbursts, irritability, and/or mood swings
  • Periods of giddiness, hyperactivity, and agitation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anxiety and paranoia

Finding The Right Solutions

As made plain by the information listed above, drug addiction can have a profoundly negative impact on the life of the addict. However, solutions are available. Once an addict has been diagnosed for drug addiction, she or he can attain treatment through the use of services provided by an inpatient treatment center. There are a plethora of different services that these treatment centers will offer, including 24-hour supervised care, counseling services, mentorship, and the removal of any distractions that could impede the recovery process.


Although drug addiction may seem like an insurmountable problem, it doesn’t have to be. By seeking professional assistance from an inpatient treatment center, individuals who are addicted to drugs can gain the help they need to get on the path to permanent recovery.


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