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Drugs

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is the compulsive use of a substance despite experiencing negative consequences. People suffering from substance use disorder will continue to use that substance in order to feel “normal.” Read more about addiction.

It’s important to remember that drug addiction is a complex but treatable disease. Fortunately, for some substances there are now medications that can help with cravings, withdrawal and even overdose symptoms.


Are you concerned that a loved one may have an addiction to drugs? There are options and help is available.


Find Help

Commonly Abused Drugs & Effects of Use

Stimulants – Increased heart rate, blood pressure and alertness. Examples: Cocaine, Methamphetamine
Learn more about how we are seeing an increase in stimulant use in Berks.

Opium-related drugs – Slowed down breathing, increased drowsiness, short-term euphoria. Examples: heroin, fentanyl
Learn more about these types of drugs.

Hallucinogens – Enhanced sensory perception, distortion from reality and increased blood pressure. Examples: LSD (acid), PCP, marijuana can also have hallucinogenic properties when used

Learn more about common abused substances from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Signs & Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Note: The following are characteristics of drug and/or alcohol abuse. However, some of these characteristics could also indicate other physical and emotional problems. If in doubt please see the assistance of a physician or call Reading Hospital Drug and Alcohol Hotline (484) 628-8186.


Physical Characteristics

Bloodshot eyes • Dilated pupils • Dizziness • Sweating profusely • Constantly cold • Shaky hands • Looking/feeling “run down” • Weight loss • Weight gain

Behavioral Characteristics

Mood Swings • Personality Changes • Defensiveness • Extremely emotional • Self-centered • Manipulative • Withdrawn • Dressing differently • Changes in relationships with friends • Social problems • Anxiety

Addiction Assessment

Take this brief assessment to determine if you may need help for an addiction.

Take Assessment