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Signs of drug use: What to do if you notice them in your relatives

Signs of drug use: What to do if you notice them in your relatives

Detecting signs of drug use is an opportunity to save people’s lives. If you suspect something is wrong with a loved one, friend, or acquaintance, you need to act quickly by going to a rehab center for addiction treatment. But how do you know if there are actually any signs of substance abuse, or is it just your imagination? About the symptoms of using drugs below.

Determining drug addiction by the appearance

Sometimes you can’t recognize an addict right away. People with unstable psyches who have faced specific problems in life are at risk for substance use. Problems in the family, dissatisfaction with life, stress, etc., can lead to substance addiction. Drug dealers easily identify such unhappy and compliant people. They offer to get away from their problems by trying narcotics. And if the person agrees, his life changes dramatically (but not for the better) – he crosses his inner barrier. Further, as the person systematically takes drugs, he will fall into a greater and greater addiction, which over time will be harder to stop, and the signs of drug use will be more and more evident.

One can suspect addiction by behavior and outward signs of drug use. If these symptoms are detected, it is necessary to seek help immediately at a drug treatment clinic. Immediate inpatient treatment of drug addiction will help the person to return to his or her usual life. Also, the person’s post-treatment adaptation to society should not be neglected because if he or she has a hard time interacting with people, the person may fall back on the slippery slope.

The signs of drug use heavily depend on the term and substance a person takes. Each of the drugs causes specific marks to appear. As a rule, an addict’s eyes give him away: the whites may be bloodshot, and the pupils may be both very dilated and overly constricted. Also, changes appear in the very look of a person – it often becomes inadequate and psychopathic.

Sometimes there are signs of drug use on the face: an addicted person can be distinguished by bright red lips. They are also prone to involuntary cough and a constant feeling of thirst. It may also be aggressive behavior, anxiety, excessive mobility, and talkativeness. The behavior of the addict depends very much on the type of substance used.

Signs of drug use: What to do if you notice them in your relatives
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Heroin, methadone, morphine, codeine, desomorphine, and several other psychoactive substances in this group change a person’s personality in just a couple of use sessions. Even after a short stop period, they cause powerful withdrawal syndrome. It is a condition accompanied by acute psychosis, hallucinations (visual, auditory, olfactory), and pronounced neuropathy.


Marijuana, hashish, ganja, and other cannabis derivatives have become widespread because many consider them light recreational drugs. But in reality, their use causes irreversible mental effects: memory lapses and the deterioration of the intellect. Also, often the effects of cannabinoids become insufficient, so addicts switch to more dangerous substances: mephedrone, cocaine, heroin, etc.


This group includes cocaine, amphetamine, and its derivatives (methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA, etc.). They have a stimulating effect, causing an increase in vigor and activity. Fatigue and appetite disappear completely. Overdose of such substances can literally kill the psyche, as it develops severe delirium and depersonalization, which can last up to several days.

Signs of drug use: What to do if you notice them in your relatives

Bath Salts

The main danger of bath salts is that they have a devastating effect on the psyche, provoking the development of persistent addiction even after the first use. Their systematic use leads to exhaustion of the whole body and rapid degradation of the personality. Without timely and adequate treatment, regular use of such (synthetic) drugs leads to a lethal end within 5-7 years.

Dissociative Substances

Dissociative substances distort the perception of reality. These drugs include, for example, phencyclidine, dextromethorphan, ketamine, etc. They are extremely destructive to psychological health and aggressive to the brain. Their use leads to a loss of vigor, cheerfulness, and the ability to perform purposeful actions. They are also virtually impossible to eliminate from the body, gradually accumulating in the soft tissues and potentially leading to an overdose each subsequent use.

The first signs of drug use

A person with the initial stages of drug addiction is quite difficult to recognize, especially when you’re not close. But addiction almost always develops quickly. The body requires a constant increase in the dose – because of this, the external signs of drug use become more and more noticeable. Here are just a few of them:

  • Injection marks: various dots and punctures from syringes on the arms, legs, groin, armpits, and other body parts. Swelling and bruising may appear in these areas. Veins in addicts who inject opiates are dense and blue, and the wounds on them do not have time to heal because of the constant injections.
  • Mood swings: unstable and inappropriate behavior is one of the common signs of drug use. Sometimes mood swings may even resemble those of, for example, people with bipolar affective disorder. Watch out for sudden outbursts of anger, lightning-fast depression, etc.
  • Unkempt appearance: usually manifested by the person not wanting to take care of themselves. Usually, addicts rarely take a bath and don’t wash their clothes. Also, pay attention to what and when your loved one wears: if he prefers to walk around the house in a hoodie, and your home is hot, he may be hiding needle marks.
  • Unusual and painful pupils: usually, the pupils of addicts are severely constricted or, conversely, dilated. The gaze looks dead and unconcerned. If your relative or loved one has started wearing sunglasses suddenly, it may be a reason to be concerned that they may be hiding their eyes.
  • Abrupt changes in communication or preferences: addicts have a fairly abrupt and pronounced change in their behavior. The same happens with their hobbies or interests.
  • Sleep problems – insomnia is an inevitable companion of a person who regularly uses drugs. There may also be a sudden change in biorhythms, that he begins to be awake at night and sleep during the day (or vice versa).
  • Change in appetite: also one of the evident signs of drug use. Addicts often have a change in taste preferences. Appetite is also disturbed: addicts have frequent attacks of hunger or, on the contrary, complete unwillingness to take food.
  • Strange things in the room: in the living area may appear rancid spoons, syringes, and ampoules in large quantities, as well as packages with traces of glue, incomprehensible powders and substances, and vials with solvents. There is often an unpleasant odor in the room where the addict lives. Also, don’t ignore the fact that things are missing. A person will constantly need to buy substances, so he is prone to sell his own property. There are also cases of theft when an addict steals things from their loved ones and sells them.

Finally, pay attention to possible problems with memory and the ability to work. Since drugs have a powerful effect on a person’s mental and physical state, in some cases, they may even become incapacitated to work.

Signs of drug use: What to do if you notice them in your relatives
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Identifying people on drugs in the early stage means giving them a chance to return to their former life. To do this, everyone needs to know how to recognize an addict. The obvious indicators are the body’s condition (the appearance of veins and eyes) and behavior.

If relatives, friends, or acquaintances have signs of drug use on face, you should help them begin to undergo treatment. It should be carried out in specialized drug treatment clinics. In Eco Sober House, we will help to return to a healthy life. With our mentors and strong brotherhood, it is easier to socialize, refuse harmful habits, and find friends and work. Don’t lose the chance and call us today. Our specialists at Eco Sober House ensure that your loved ones will get their lives back to normal.



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