Drug abuse and addiction is a common problem that impacts families across the country. A loved one may start using drugs to fulfill a need or socialize. Eventually, this can turn into tolerance, dependence and addiction. At this point, the drug consumes the person’s life.

You may suspect that a family member is struggling with a drug addiction. If this is the case, you may want to help, because drug abuse can lead to serious health and legal consequences. Here are the most common signs that someone you love has a drug problem.


 When someone develops a drug addiction, it becomes the core concern of his or her life. This may cause this person to abandon family members, friends, hobbies and social activities. If a family member is not interacting with anyone anymore, it may indicate an issue.

Work or school problems

 A younger family member who gets involved with drugs may begin to frequently miss school, get lower grades or lose interest in educational activities. An older loved one who is working may start to miss shifts or start slacking in his or her work performance. In serious cases, drug addiction can lead to disciplinary actions by schools or employers, such as expulsion or termination.

Neglecting oneself

 When someone is abusing drugs, he or she may start to care less about personal hygiene and appearance. The person may show a lack of interest in grooming, looks or clothing.

Behavior changes

 Drastic changes in how a loved one acts are some of the most crucial warning signs. If a family member is suddenly secretive about his or her activities or is destroying relationships with family and friends, it can be a sign that drug addiction is permeating his or her life.

Money problems

 Abusing drugs is expensive. Often, someone with a substance use disorder will deplete his or her resources in order to feed the addiction. A family member may make unreasonable requests for money or even steal money or items to sell to support drug use.