How to Tell if Someone is on Drugs

There may be no guaranteed, definitive way to spot a drug user, but there are some classic signs that you need to be aware of if you suspect that someone you know may have a drug problem. Someone may only exhibit one or two of the following signs and symptoms of drug abuse:


A Sample of Treatment Programs Available:

  • Alcohol Rehab
  • Detox
  • Drug Rehab
  • Prescription Drug Detox
  • Prescription Rehab
  • Dual-Diagnosis
  • Eating Disorders
  • Group Therapy
  • Holistic Therapies
  • Individual Therapy
  • In-Patient Treatment
  • Intervention
  • Depression
  • Women’s Only Treatment

Should you observe that your loved one is manifesting some of the signs listed above and you suspect drug use is the cause, conduct an intervention before he or she becomes just another drug statistic.

Be aware that the signs and symptoms of drug abuse will vary according to the particular drug being used. For example, regular marijuana use may cause the user to become lethargic or paranoid, whereas regular cocaine use will result in increased energy and sleeplessness. Take note of the specific symptoms you notice in your loved one, and then compare them against the particular symptoms of the drug you suspect they are using.

Some individuals may be able to hide their drug use well – for a while. Just because someone is still managing their day-to-day commitments, such as work, social and familial responsibilities, does not necessarily mean they aren’t addicted. Keep an eye out for signs of use, and remember that most addicts don’t exhibit all the signs of use or addiction.

What to Do When You Know Someone Is Using Drugs

Once you firmly suspect that someone is using drugs, it can be difficult to know how to proceed. Oftentimes, family members or friends ignore the issue in hopes that it might improve over time. This is rarely the case.

When someone is using drugs with regularity, they could literally be altering the structure of their brain. It’s not a matter of the person exercising self-control; addicts are often unable to stop using drugs without professional help.

Drug addictions don’t improve on their own. Instead, it’s wise to take steps to intervene on your loved one’s behalf. You could approach your loved one individually about their drug use, or set up an intervention where those who care about the person gather to confront them on their drug use. A professional interventionist can help organize the event and ensure that it runs smoothly.

The goal of any intervention is for the addict to see that they have a drug addiction, and to seek out the help they need. It’s important that you make treatment arrangements for your loved one prior to the intervention. This allows them to leave the event and immediately enter treatment, before they have time to change their mind at a later time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is most effectively treated with a combination of behavioral therapy and medication.

Find a Drug Treatment Center Now

If you discover that someone you care for is on drugs, you will want to learn about the treatment options available. Call 1-888-575-9531 Who Answers? to get information about drug abuse treatment centers and the amenities they offer to their clients. You also have the option of filling out our online form with some basic information so we can recommend a drug addiction center that will meet your needs. Don’t wait another minute; contact us today.



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I thought my addiction was going to destroy me. I was wrong because I found help. I cannot thank you enough."-David
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