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Article Summary

Signs of Drug and Alcohol Use

We have listed below some characteristics of using recreational drugs, but first let us explain some things.

Have A Conversation

If you suspect an individual of using drugs it is often more beneficial to start a dialogue than to carefully watch for all kinds of signs. Before you start a conversation it is important to know why someone would conceal his drug use. Often it has to do with fear of a certain reaction. If you don't show blame but some interest, and are open about the situation, the user will probably be more willing to talk about it. It is also good to know what to do after you make the drug use subject of discussion. A lot of people only want to find out and then do nothing about it. In a next conversation, you could discuss the use and abuse of the drugs, or the reasons for drug use and possible alternatives.

Keep in mind that many symptoms mentioned below can also be related to something completely different. If you pay too much attention to certain symptoms, you may confuse innocent lovesickness with drug use, for example.

Characteristics Of Drug Use

Often the most general characteristic of drug use is a change of mood: one minute someone can be very cheerful and the next minute very depressed, or one minute be present and the next minute be absent. Continuous use causes less achievement and makes someone's life become more and more focused on drugs. The use of each substance has its own characteristics:

  • Alcohol: breathe smells like alcohol, dilated pupils, cheerful, noisy, more guts, loss of shyness.
  • Amphetamines: dilated pupils, energetic, talkative, pale, and restless. The days after: down, empty, exhausted and irritated.
  • Cocaine: dilated pupils (not always), go to the toilet often, cheerful, energetic, talkative, reckless, pale, restless, irritated, hot tempered. The days after: down, empty, exhausted.
  • Gambling: total concentration on the game, the illusion of making quick money, borrowing money, often play alone, bad sleep, less concentration.
  • Hashish/weed: red eyes, dilated pupils, cheerful, sleepy, slow, ignorant about what has just been said, giggling, hungry, heavy arms and legs.
  • Heroin: narrow pupils, almost closed eyelids, a faraway look, passive, quiet, slow breath.
  • LSD: dilated pupils, weird ideas, hallucinations.
  • XTC: dilated pupils, cheerful, energetic and talkative. The days after: exhausted, down and empty.

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