Signs of Drug Addiction: Know Which Drug They're Using

Signs of drug addiction: know which drug they’re using

When it comes to drug use, different drugs present themselves in a variety of ways. Unless you know the signs of drug abuse and specifically how a certain drug affects a person’s behavior, mental state, and physical well-being, it can be difficult to pinpoint what type of drug a person may be using. This guide is meant to give an overview of the most common types of drugs and how each affects the person using it.


Also known as pot, weed, grass, ganja, and cannabis, marijuana is one of the most commonly used addictive drugs, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It comes from a plant called Cannabis Sativa and has an active ingredient called TCH, which is what causes the high that comes from marijuana. Marijuana use can affect the body in various ways and comes in a variety of forms.

Mental and behavioral changes

For many people, using marijuana results in a feeling of relaxation and calmness. However, it can also present in negative ways, including paranoia, anxiety, depression, and forgetfulness. Typically these effects subside a few hours after use of the drug is stopped.

Physical changes

According to Web MD, marijuana can affect almost all organs in the body, as well as the nervous system and immune system. Using this drug can result in an increased heart rate and lower blood pressure. In certain situations, it may also increase bleeding and affect blood sugar. As with any type of smoking, using marijuana (if smoked) can affect the lungs, resulting in the user having an ongoing cough or other lung problems. Common side effects of marijuana use include red eyes, dilated pupils, a dry mouth, dizziness, increased appetite, and slower reaction times.


LSD is also often referred to as acid and is a commonly used hallucinogen. According to, “LSD induces altered states of consciousness and out-of-this-world experiences through hallucinations.” The way LSD use presents can vary depending on how much a person takes as well as how long they’ve been taking the drug.

Mental and behavioral changes

Using LSD can affect serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain that regulates learning, memory, arousal, mood, and sleep cycles. When LSD enters the body’s systems, it increases serotonin levels. The greatest effect it has on a user is the visual changes, including the blending of colors, brightened color schemes, combined sensory experiences, and distortions of space. When on LSD, users may also experience poor judgment, anxiety, extreme emotions, memory loss, loss of motivation, paranoia, and lack of concentration.

Physical effects

Because LSD affects serotonin levels, it also affects the rest of the body’s central nervous system. Signs of LSD use include an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, sweating, vomiting, dilated pupils, restlessness, impaired coordination loss of appetite, and an increase in body temperature.


Cocaine, also commonly referred to as coke or crack, is a drug that affects dopamine levels. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is responsible for feelings of euphoria and processing reward cues.

Mental and behavioral changes

According to, when someone is using cocaine, “They may disappear to use the drug and then return in a very different mood. They may seem excited and act more confident and exhibit a greater sense of well-being. They may be more excited sexually and talkative. Their energy will be pumped up and they probably will not have very much appetite for food and will not have a normal sleep pattern.” When using cocaine, a person may also become aggressive or paranoid.

Physical effects

Physically, a person who is using cocaine may have traces of white powder on their body, particularly on their face, and may lose large amounts of weight. Dilated pupils are also a common sign of cocaine use. Other signs include a runny nose, a bloody nose, needle marks on the body, and an increased heart rate.


Mushrooms, also known as shrooms, magic mushrooms, and psilocybin, are another form of hallucinogens. Typically, they originate in Mexico and Central America and have the appearance of normal, edible mushrooms. However, they contain psilocybin, which creates hallucinogenic effects. Signs of mushroom use can vary, as the signs depend on the potency of the mushroom eaten.

Mental and behavioral changes

Often, mushrooms are used for those who wish to “enhance” a night out, such as at a club. According to, “A person using Mushrooms may begin to focus their time on the “club scene.” They will go on binges where they ingest mushrooms all night to maintain their high, staying out throughout the weekend and then crashing.” Often, those who use mushrooms may follow these binges by recovering and laying low for the next few days following. Those using mushrooms may also begin to distance themselves from friends and family.

Physical effects

After using mushrooms, a person’s eyes may become dilated, and they may have trouble focusing. Mushroom use is also known to result in nausea and vomiting.


Heroin is an opiate and is one of the most problematic drugs in the U.S. today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Heroin use has increased across the U.S. among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels.” When users inject the drug, they feel a surge of euphoria. It is difficult to stop a heroin addiction, due in part to the intense withdrawals.

Mental and behavioral changes

Heroin affects a user in a variety of ways. Users may feel relaxed, and their thinking may become unclear. They are less likely to be able to feel pain, and their ability to make decisions and their self-control may decrease.

Physical effects

When using heroin, a person will get a dry mouth, and their skin may become flushed. Additionally, their pupils may become constricted, and breathing may be slowed. They may also become itchy and start vomiting. Constipation is often a side effect of heroin use, and a user of the drug may use laxatives. [easy-social-share buttons=”facebook,twitter” counters=0 style=”button” twitter_user=”@recoveryvillage” point_type=”simple” facebook_text=”Share” twitter_text=”Tweet”]
Signs of Drug Addiction: Know Which Drug They’re Using
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Signs of Drug Addiction: Know Which Drug They’re Using was last modified: March 2nd, 2018 by The Recovery Village