How to Tell if Someone is Using Drugs

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Learn to spot the first signs of drug use.

Sometimes it can be hard to admit or identify signs of drug use in friends, family or even yourself. Being able to identify signs of abuse of drugs can help a loved one struggling get help.

If you’re unsure how to tell if someone is using drugs, a lot of identification has to do with the type of drug taken, family history and the individual in general.

It’s important to point out that drug abuse is a problem that can have serious consequences for the health and well being of the individual. The earlier addiction is caught, the better for the individual.

Continue reading to learn how to tell if someone is using drugs through signs and symptoms.

How to Identify a Drug Addict

Signs of drug use can sometimes stem from using them to deal with negative emotions or to treat mental illness. When drugs are abused, they are used in a way other than how they are intended. Sometimes signs of drug use can be noted through certain behavioral or physical signs and they will be described below.

Behavioral signs of drug use differ in each person and the abuse can sometimes be brought on by various changes in life.

Here are some ways how to tell if someone is using drugs from a behavioral standpoint:

  • Unusual mood changes – drugs have effects on the mind and the body that allows for major shifts in mood and individuals may show signs of being depressed or anxious as well as extreme highs and lows.
  • Risky behaviors – unfortunately, drug use can sometimes lead to behaviors that are unlike normal behavior. These types of behaviors could be driving under the influence or stealing.
  • Social withdrawal – when it comes to how to tell if someone is using drugs, they can oftentimes hide their activities from families and friends.
  • Lack of motivation – it’s common for individuals using drugs to feel a lack of motivation and an uninterest in getting things done which may be different than before.
  • Neglect of responsibilities – oftentimes individuals struggling with addiction have trouble focusing on their responsibilities and daily life.

Physical signs can also help when it comes to how to identify a drug addict. Sometimes people who abuse drugs are great at hiding their addiction but physical signs are not as easy to hide. Here are some ways how to tell if someone is using drugs from physical signs:

  • Odd smelling clothes
  • Puffiness in the face
  • Paleness
  • Flushing of the face
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Extreme weight loss or gain
  • A constant runny nose
  • Persistent cough
  • Lack of physical hygiene
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Stumbling
  • Pupils that are enlarged or too small
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Changes in sleeping habits such as sleeping a lot more or less

Signs of Abuse and Drug Addiction

If you are aware, or notice  signs of abuse in someone that you love they should be taken seriously. Addiction to drugs can cause harmful effects on the body and overall health and even possibly fatal overdoses.

Not every person who ever tries a drug will become addicted but there is a fine line between using a drug and developing tolerance and always needing more of the drug to reach the original high. Individuals who lose control over their use of the drugs need help.

If you notice that someone needs help, speak to a medical professional of a confidant about getting help for your friend or loved one before it damages relationships and the individual in general. Taking a step towards getting help is a step in the right direction.

If you find someone who you know is showing signs of using drugs,  please consider getting them into the treatment program at Legacy Healing Center. We offer a wide range of treatment programs such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatients, outpatient programs, and family programs. Help is just a phone call away – reach out to someone at Legacy Healing Center today at 888-597-3547.

At Legacy Healing Center, our approach to recovery is built around a holistic methodology. We look at addiction as a comprehensive issue and offer a complete set of services to heal the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. Combining research-evidenced practices from medicine and psychology, our team of highly trained professionals looks at all aspects of our clients’ lives on an individual basis. Our holistic approach to healing encompasses more than dealing with addiction through primary treatment strategies like therapy and meetings. We offer a full range of services to heal the whole person, body, mind, and spirit.