The Signs of Someone Using Drugs

Do you know how to recognize the signs someone is using drugs? Here we look at some telling signs of using some specific drugs. Spotting these signs can help in veering someone away from the hard path of drug addiction.

Dilated Pupils

A sign of drug use common to almost all drugs is dilated pupils for an extended period of time. Of course, this alone is not proof. It should be considered in combination with other symptoms.

Signs of Cocaine Use

101145727The cocaine user will likely be hyperactive when high and talk excessively. Soon after it wears off, the signs of cocaine use can vary: rapid shifts in mood, confusion, short temper, depression, poor eating habits (likely not hungry), excessive sleeping or severe sleeplessness, anxiety, even paranoia and panic attacks.

After long-term cocaine use, the person may exhibit signs like an often runny nose and frequent nosebleeds, along with an impaired sense of reality through paranoia, suspiciousness, even hallucinations.

Signs of Marijuana Use

Aside from the smell in clothing and hair, the signs of marijuana use are not difficult to recognize. The user will often have bloodshot eyes and even squint a lot. Another tell-tale sign is excessive hunger and compulsive eating (the “munchies”), especially of foods heavy in processed carbohydrates. The user can often be incoherent or talk nonsense, as well as laugh uncontrollably about anything. Other signs include listlessness, lethargy, loss of motivation, and short-term memory problems.

A certain sign of marijuana drug use is finding the paraphernalia – bongs, pipes, grinders, rolling papers, etc.

Signs of Methamphetamine Use

Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a particularly toxic drug and the signs of its use are quite clear. The user will be “wired” – hyperactive, sleepless, overly talkative – for a long period of time. He/she won’t eat, will likely be extremely nervous, will have sudden mood changes, will suddenly feel overly powerful and invincible, then will likely become paranoid and bitter and depressed. Angry psychotic outbursts for no reason are common, as is shaking, unusual sweating, confusion, agitation and blurred vision.

The longer-term user will lose weight dramatically and even have an unusual body smell bordering on ammonia. He/she will also develop severe dental health problems (“meth mouth”) and undergo shocking changes in facial appearance.

Signs of Heroin Use

Young woman with drug addiction. Black and white photoHeroin use can often be detected by noticing needle marks on the user’s body, especially arms. For many, the first sign of use of a potent drug like heroin is being in a dream-like state, almost asleep, for minutes to hours. Many users are so listless, they are incapable of doing anything. The user will sleep at strange times and may sweat strangely as well as sniffle and cough. One distinctive sign of heroin use is how a user’s pupils may stay contracted even with bright light shining in them.

Signs of Ecstasy/MDMA Use

Ecstasy – or MDMA – has been called the “love drug”. A user will show signs of elevated sensuality, become overly amorous, have markedly increased sex drive, and have very different reactions to things they see, hear and touch. Body temperature rises, emotional responses are more pronounced, and then the body may show signs of teeth clenching, muscle cramp, chills, sweating and nausea. Severe temperature increase can sometimes cause death.

If you think someone you know is showing signs of using drugs, contact a professional advice line or rehab facility. Do not confront the person, but listen to experts in the field about what you can do to help.

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