Drug Rehabilitation Blog

needles and prep material

12 Telltale Signs Someone You Know is Addicted to Drugs

Posted by Myra Davis to Addiction

Do you know how to spot an addict? In my experience, drug addicts don’t shout, “Hey, look at me! I’m using drugs!” However, you can watch for 12 telltale signs that indicate whether or not someone has a drug addiction.

needles and prep material

1. Neglects Responsibilities

Missing work, cutting classes, or not taking care of chores at home could be a sign of an addiction. You can also expect an active addict to frequently break commitments, blow off dates, or always have an excuse for missing important events.

2. Stops Enjoying Hobbies

An avid athlete, artist, or chef who stops enjoying activities they previously loved could be distracted by drugs and the depression, anxiety, and paranoia that often accompany an addiction.

3. Problems With Relationships

Addicts often fight with their friends, parents, and partners. They might even separate, break up, or be estranged from the people for whom they used to care the most.

4. Financial Troubles

Someone who gets behind on bills, always asks for money, and never has cash for dinner could be addicted to drugs. After all, a drug addiction is expensive.

5. Weight Changes

A person who rapidly loses or gains weight could be struggling with a drug addiction. Addicts often would rather use than eat, and some drugs cause weight changes.

6. Unusual Odors

Smell an unusual odor on a person’s clothes or in their and you could be smelling drugs. An addict will also use tons of mouthwash, perfume, or body spray to conceal their habit.

7. Lack of Hygiene

Dirty teeth, clothing, and hair can be a sign of drug use. That’s because addicts don’t have time to take proper care of themselves when they’re focused on getting or using their drug of choice. Plus, certain drugs can cause bad breath and hair loss, additional signs to watch for.

8. Impaired Coordination

An onset of stumbling, tremors, or slurred speech indicate a possible addiction. When you notice impaired coordination, the addict either needs a fix, is high, or is coming off a hit.

9. Mood Swings

When you’re never sure what kind of mood someone will be in from one day to the next or even from one moment to the next, they could be suffering from an addiction.

10. Keeping Secrets

A person who hides spending, activities, or friends could also be hiding an addiction. Be aware that addicts are excellent liars.

11. Increased Risk-Taking

Drugs can make people feel on top of the world, invincible, and capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Notice your loved one taking more risks than usual and you may be looking at a drug addict.

12. Legal Troubles

Citations or arrests for actions like disorderly conduct or stealing can indicate that a person is suffering from an addiction.

I’ve seen addicts struggle with one or all of these 12 telltale signs. As you look at your friends, coworkers, and neighbors, though, remember that an individual sign does not indicate that someone is an addict. One or more of them, however, can be a telltale sign that someone struggles with drugs. Encourage a person who’s addicted to get help.


  • Diane C

    This is good information as there are some things on this list I may not have noticed as a possible sign of drug addiction. It’s good to know that what you are looking at with your friend or family member could be a problem with addiction rather than just thinking that they are just being lazy or shirking their responsibilities. Knowing these things can help you get the person to someone who can help them sooner than you might have.

  • Amanda

    This is a great article. You can see what to look for or what you may already see if some one may be using drugs. Being able to see whether or not a person may be addicted to drugs is so important. But a lot of time a person can perceive when something is happening with a a friend or family member. See these characteristics in people should make it so that you get a person some help. I have seen too many families be torn apart by drugs and people not helping their family members in time. If you see these signs please find out if they are taking drugs, it can be life or death!

  • Write a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    at-home detox

    The Risks Associated With At-Home Detox

    There can be a variety of risks that are associated with addiction and substance use.  Detox is a period which can pose …

    summer sobriety

    Sober for Summer: How to Stay Strong in Your Recovery

    Summer is a time of a variety of enjoyable events, including parties, socializing, and many outdoor activities.  But, this …

    addiction and military veterans

    Addiction Trends in the Military: How to Help Our Veterans

    Addiction affects a wide range of individuals in our society.  In reality, no demographic is immune to the effects of addiction.  …