How to Identify Drugs
If you find pills or an unknown substance in a loved one’s possession, how do you know if you’ve found drugs? And how do you know what drugs they are taking? You may suspect that these substances are illicit drugs, but you want to be absolutely sure before pursuing an intervention for that individual. If you falsely accuse your loved one of possessing or taking illicit drugs, it could irreparably damage your relationship. If your loved one is using drugs but you incorrectly identify a particular substance, they may feel vindicated by your faulty assessment and use it as an excuse to not get the help they need.
What Common Drugs Look Like
To help you identify certain drugs, like pills and other substances, here are descriptions for some types of the most commonly abused drugs:
- Marijuana can appear brown, gray or green. It may contain leaves, stems or flowers from the plant.
- Heroin can look like a white or off-white powder. “Black tar” heroin is darker in color and may be sticky or hard. Largely, the color of the heroin will depend upon the variety in question. Heroin can also come in a light brown, powdered form.
- Cocaine is a fine, white powder that is usually snorted or injected (after being mixed with water). Crack cocaine looks like a rock or crystals; it is generally white or off-white and can vary greatly in size. Crack cocaine is generally smoked.
- Amphetamines (”uppers”) can look like tablets, crystals, capsules or white powder. Amphetamine capsules or tablets come in a wide range of colors and sizes. Generally, amphetamines are taken orally or snorted.
- Barbiturates (”downers”) can come in a liquid form, as well as capsules or tablets of various colors. Barbiturates are usually taken orally.
- Crystal meth has no color or odor. It comes in chunks or crystal-like forms.
- LSD usually comes on small squares of paper, known as “blotting paper.” These pieces of paper are often brightly colored or have images printed on them. LSD is also available in liquid form.
- Mushrooms look like what they are – dried mushrooms. Hallucinogenic mushrooms look nearly identical to dried mushrooms you would find in a grocery store.
A Sample of Treatment Programs Available:
- Alcohol Rehab
- Drug Rehab
- Prescription Drug Detox
- Prescription Rehab
- Eating Disorders
- Group Therapy
- Holistic Therapies
- Individual Therapy
- In-Patient Treatment
- Women’s Only Treatment
Knowing what the most common illicit drugs look like is very important. If you find a substance in your loved one’s possession, first take the steps necessary to identify it, and then talk to them about it. If you suspect your loved one has an addiction, it’s important to get them the help they need. Contact us today for information on effective addiction treatment; we are here 24/7 to answer your questions.
While it’s possible to spot the most common pills and substances of abuse, more vigilance is required for spotting look-alike pills, which present the same dangers inherent in the drugs they try to look like. These look-alike pills are cheaper replicas of street drugs, and people purchase and ingest these pills, thinking they’re getting the real thing. These look-alike pills often contain dangerous and even deadly combinations of over-the-counter medications and caffeinated substances.
Any time you find an unidentified pill or substance, err on the side of caution. Talk to your loved one about what you’ve found; you could be opening the door to a conversation that could change the course of their life.
Get Help From a Drug Addiction Center
If you are concerned about a loved one’s drug use, help is available. The first step to finding that help is to call 1-800-565-0577 to find out about drug abuse rehab facilities and the kinds of services they offer. From exclusive facilities to residential programs for long-term care to outpatient clinics, there is an option for all addicts who want to become sober.
I thought my addiction was going to destroy me. I was wrong because I found help. I cannot thank you enough."-David
A private, luxury environment made me feel safe and comfortable during this process. This was my BEST decision." - Mya