National Institutes of Health

Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction

People with drug problems might act differently than they used to. They might:

  • Spend a lot of time alone
  • Lose interest in their favorite things
  • Get messy—for instance, not bathe, change clothes, or brush their teeth
  • Be really tired and sad
  • Be very energetic, talk fast, or say things that don't make sense
  • Be nervous or cranky (in a bad mood)
  • Quickly change between feeling bad and feeling good
  • Sleep at strange hours
  • Miss important appointments
  • Have problems at work
  • Eat a lot more or a lot less than usual

People with an addiction usually can't stop taking the drug on their own. They want and need more. They might try to stop taking the drug and then feel really sick. Then they take the drug again to stop feeling sick. They keep using the drug even though it's causing terrible family, health, or legal problems. They need help to stop using drugs.

Drug Treatment can help.

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"I feel so helpless against his addiction."

Sorrowful two men

Matt's brother Stephen is addicted to meth. Matt wants to help Stephen, but he isn't sure how. (Photo information)

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