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Behavioral Changes in a Drug Addict

Behavioral Changes in a Drug Addict

Behavior Changes in a Drug Addict

Before a person starts using drugs, they will typically exhibit behavioral patterns that most people would consider normal. This normality will be established over many years of getting to know that person and what they are like. This is especially the case if the person who becomes a drug addict is evaluated by members of their own family. Drug use has a tendency to change a person’s behavior over time, and these changes are often noticed by the people closest to them. Some of these behavioral patterns may not seem so strange; yet, other behaviors they exhibit may prove to be quite bizarre. In most cases, if a person is using drugs, they will often exhibit changes in their behavior that you can identify as being drug addiction related. In which case, if an addiction is behind these behavioral patterns, it will be important to help this individual work with a drug rehab facility to get on a detox program.

Mood Swings

A classic sign of people involved in a drug addiction can be seen as a cycle of mood swings. While it is common for people to exhibit periods of emotional highs and lows, drug addicts tend to swing up and down emotionally with regularity. When they are high, they are using. When they are low, the drug has typically worn off, and they need their next fix to get high again. It should be noted that this behavioral pattern, though very easy to spot with certain drugs, is not always so easy to spot with other drugs whose effects are more subtle. So, while a person using might have their eyes glossed over and their head in the clouds, this is not going to be the case for all forms of drug use. Sometimes this pattern may exhibit itself with different states of alertness. In one moment the addict will seem at a low state of awareness and alertness, then all of a sudden they will seem hyper aware and alert. They may not act too far out of the ordinary, or they may seem more agitated and pedantic when hyper alert. It is difficult to say how a drug will affect one individual versus another.


The interesting thing about drug use is that it can produce a sense of paranoia in certain people. This paranoia can manifest itself at varying degrees of intensity. It could be a mild paranoia: where someone is worried that a cop might be following them when they drive high. In other people, the paranoia could be far more intense, and they might become down right psychotic in nature. As you can imagine, this sort of behavior is not healthy, and these individuals should be encouraged to seek help from a drug rehab facility sooner than later. Sometimes this type of behavior can become more intense still during the detox phase of recovery. If left untreated, however, it could get potentially worse over time.


It may seem odd to observe someone start lying a lot. This is especially true when you knew them to not be a person who was a liar before. Yet, many addicted individuals will hide their addiction behind a host of lies. For a time, they might even get by with this course of action and successfully keep their addiction away from the prying eyes of others. Over time, however, their attempts to continue lying, combined with the affects the drugs have on their mind, can and will often backfire; thus, making it far more difficult to keep their lies straight. As you can probably imagine, an addict who has to exhibit the behavioral pattern of lying is an addict who is really just crying for help inside. If they were truly comfortable with their own addictive behavior, why would they see such a great need to lie about it to others? They may feel ashamed about their addiction, or they may not trust that their family and friends would be understanding about their drug use. Either way, lying becomes a common outcome for such individuals.


Another common behavioral pattern that addicts fall into is a pattern of negligence. It may begin at work with their not paying attention, not doing their job or not even showing up for work at all. Of course, as their addiction continues to take the position of the highest priority in their life, the negligence they exhibit then extends towards others. Many of these individuals will feed their addiction, but not do what is necessary to keep food on the table for their kids. They will even attempt to justify why they are engaged in such acts of negligence to their family and friends. The longer this behavior goes on, the more detrimental their condition becomes. It simply is not healthy to live one’s life to be enslaved to an addiction at the expense of all other obligations and responsibilities.


When an addict has to choose between the addiction they are enslaved to and the people who are important in their lives, the fights that can often erupt from having to make such decisions can lead to a lot of violence and abuse. The addiction will typically be given the greater consideration in their mind. Sure, their words will say what you want to hear, but their mind is constantly working to figure out how to ensure their next fix at the expense of nearly anything that gets in their way. Such individuals can become irrational and dangerous towards their own family and friends. When things go this far, sometimes there is no choice but for their family and friends to get far away from this violent behavior. Until an individual admits they have a problem and seeks professional help, their behavior will not return to a point which is stable enough to maintain a healthy relationship.