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Signs of Addiction

How can you tell if someone may be struggling with addiction?

ADM HelplineIt may be difficult for family or friends to know if someone they care about may be struggling with an addiction to prescription pain medicine or other illicit drugs. The following list provides some of the potential signs that may indicate someone is struggling with a drug addiction.

  • Isolation from loved ones and social events
  • Continued use of prescribed opiates, even after pain has subsided
  • Deceitful or illegal behaviors
  • Decline of overall performance in work, school, or social life
  • Frequently nodding off in inappropriate circumstances
  • Excessive energy or erratic behavior (stimulants such as cocaine & methamphetamine)
  • Complaint of physical symptoms such as cramping, diarrhea, itchy skin, joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and drowsiness
  • Neglect of personal hygiene, changes in eating habits, or ill-looking appearance
  • Change of friends, will tend to hang out with other users
  • Drug paraphernalia – syringes, small metal or glass pipes, pen barrels, spoons, lighters, small plastic bags, cotton balls, rubber tubing
  • Money problems – loans, stealing, selling stolen items, missing possessions to raise $ to obtain additional prescriptions or greater quantities of the drug
  • Missing prescriptions
  • Track / needle marks visible from injecting heroin

If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of these signs and an addiction is suspected, please seek assistance from a medical professional or call the ADM Addiction Helpline to be connected to a treatment provider: 330-940-1133


The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) provides a resource guide for substances that are commonly misused.

The DEA publishes a National Drug Threat Assessment yearly.

Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OSAM)

The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OSAM) Network monitors substance use trends in Ohio and produces several publications.