The Symptoms

Drug addiction produces a drug personality with these symptoms:

- Mood Swings
- Dishonesty
- Unreliable
- Unable to finish projects
- May begin stealing from family and friends
- Isolates self
- Withdraws from those who love him
- May appear chronically depressed
- Lies to family, friends and employers
- Unexpressed resentment and secret hatreds

Due to the variety and continual chemical alterations made to drugs, some drugs are now more addictive and pose a greater health risk than others. This is in part due to the pharmacology of the substance, and how it affects the mood and behavior of the user. However, a drug addiction is often characterized by certain habits and behavior shown by the individual.

Characteristics of a Drug Addiction

1. Loss of control: The drug user is unable to predict what will happen when he uses the substance. One day he may be able to stop after one drink, or after one line of cocaine; the next day he may not be able to control his use at all.

2. Compulsive preoccupation: The drug addict spends a great deal of time thinking about the substance he consumes.

3. Continued use despite negative consequences: If drinking or drug use causes problems but the individual still continues to consume the substances, the individual is tempting drug addiction or is already addicted. The person has lost voluntary control over the use of that substance.

A nonuser or casual alcohol/drug user may have difficulty understanding why drug addicts don't just stop. Use and abuse of psychoactive (mood-altering) drugs seem to be voluntary; drug addiction seems to be characterized by involuntary, compulsive use. In most cases, drug addicts don't stop because they are addicted, they just cannot stop on their own.

The drug addict lies to family and friends, things start missing and disappearing around the house. The dishonesty conveyed is proportionate to the severity of the drug addiction, but these things are all apparent to the person living with a drug addict in their life. Our experiences show that the drug addict or alcoholic is usually an intelligent and most often creative person with much hope for the future, which only adds to the calamity of their downfall. As the drug addict slips down the drug addiction spiral, their loved ones try to deny the problem exists, sometimes for years. This is a part of the vicious cycle of addiction.