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Signs of addiction

Symptoms of addiction

As a guide, you’ll find the typical signs of addiction here.

It’s important to realize that many preteens and teens have emotional and physical ups and downs that are unrelated to addiction. Entering puberty, peer pressure and other behavioral triggers can cause similar responses. Approach your child with sensitivity and openness to determine if there is a problem.

Physical signs

  •   Altered sleep habits
  •   Small or pinpoint pupils
  •   Dramatic weight changes
  •   Frequent nosebleeds
  •   Frequent colds or illnesses
  •   Itchy skin or unexplained cuts or scabs
  •   Leg cramps
  •   Poor hygiene

Emotional signs

  •   A sense of desperation
  •   Changes in personality or friends
  •   School or work performance problems
  •   Out of or in need of money
  •   Nodding off or constant sleep problems
  •   Paranoia
  •   Secrecy

Don Keister Parent of a child who overdosed

Symptoms of an overdose

Drug overdose symptoms vary widely depending on the specific drug used, but may include:

  • Abnormal pupil size
  • Agitation
  • Convulsions
  • Delusional or paranoid behavior
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drowsiness or unconsciousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loud or erratic snoring
  • Weak pulse
  • Ashen or blue skin
  • Nonreactive pupils (pupils that do not change size when exposed to light)
  • Staggering or unsteady walk
  • Sweating or extremely dry, hot skin
  • Tremors or muscle spasms
  • Violent or aggressive behavior


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