10 Signs That Someone is Taking Drugs

Substance abuse can cause problems at work, home, school, and in relationships, leaving the user feeling isolated, helpless, or ashamed. If you’re worried about a friend or family member’s drug use, it’s important to know that help is available. The first step is to identify the problem. You have to first understand what the symptoms of drug use are. The key word here is ‘change’- you have to look out for changes in their health and behavior. Here certain signs that indicate whether someone is taking drugs.  

1. Excessive need for privacy

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Drug users often shut their friends and family out of their lives suddenly. Family members and friends often report sudden dishonesty and lying for no good reason. Users appear secretive and suspicious and tend to lash out when questioned about their behaviour. They also display impulsive behaviour and poor judgement. They tend to ‘sneak around’ and avoid eye contact with others.

2. Bloodshot eyes

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Another symptom of drug use would be bloodshot eyes. Users are also known to have watery, dim eyes. Marijuana is known to cause glassy, red eyes. The use of cocaine, meth and hallucinogens cause dilated pupils. Inhalants can cause watery eyes, impaired vision and trouble focusing on things.

3. Unexplained need for money

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If a friend repeatedly asks you for money but never tells you why they need it, chances are they are using it to buy drugs. They may also sell their belongings to get money for the drugs. Other signs include illegal activities such as theft in order to obtain money to buy drugs. Some users will even steal painkillers and prescription drugs from other family members.

4. Tremors of the hands and feet

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Drugs can cause tremors or shakiness of the limbs. This is particularly common when using cocaine, which can also result in tics and muscle twitches. They can also suffer from imbalance and impaired coordination.

5. Lack of personal care

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No matter what drug they take, all users show a deterioration of physical appearance and personal grooming habits. It is also common for them to have unusual smells on their breath, body or clothes. They will tend to look disheveled and will have no motivation to take care of themselves. They may also display sudden poor performances in school or at work.

6. Sudden change in friends

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Drug users usually stop socializing with their friends. Moreover, their new friends are usually their dealers or other drug users. They may also engage in other illegal activities with their new ‘friends’. They move away from their social circles, hobbies and relationships.

7. Slurred speech

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Slurred speech is a sign of using barbiturates and tranquilizers. Other drugs that cause problems in speaking include alcohol, hallucinogens, cocaine and other stimulants. Excessive sweating is another common symptom of drug use, along with a constantly runny nose and sniffling.

8. Change in sleep patterns

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Drug users will display a change in their sleep times. Heroin, stimulants and hallucinogens will all cause users to sleep at odd times. They will feel tired and sleepy most of the time. They may feel lethargic or ‘spaced-out’.

9. Mood swings or a change in attitude

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A change in behavior is the most noticeable feature of drug users. Users usually lose interest in their daily activities and social life. They tend to drift away from there and their families. Moreover, they often have mood swings- going from euphoric and energetic to listless and lethargic in a short span of time. Users are prone to hyperactivity and excessive talking. They also become irritable and have temper tantrums. Other signs include paranoia, secrecy and suspicious behavior.

10. Change in eating habits

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Weight lose or gain is one of the symptoms of drug use. Sudden weight or loss is a sign of long-term use of drugs. Heroin, cocaine and meth and other stimulants usually cause a loss of appetite. Marijuana can cause either a sudden increase or decrease in body weight. Users will either lose their appetite while others will start having uncontrollable cravings for food.