How to tell if someone is on drugs

How do you tell the difference between someone having an off day and someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol? We review here.

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8-10% of adults have substance abuse issues

Friends and families of drug addicts: you are not alone.  If you are an employer, an employee, a teacher, a student, a parent or a friend who has an interest in maintaining a safe environment (and who doesn’t want that?) then you should know the tell-tale signs and symptoms of someone who is under the influence of drugs. Eight percent of full-time employed adults and 10% of part-time employed adults had substance abuse issues, according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Don’t let these small percentages fool you; they represent thousands and thousands of people, some of whom you might work with or see everyday!

Of course, everyone has days when their head just isn’t present. It could be due to stress from inside or outside the situation or personal issues and this is excusable from time to time, as we all have those days. However, if these days seem to happen more often than not for someone, that could be a sign of substance abuse.  Keep in mind also that the line between addiction v dependence is very delicate.  And that  even medical use of prescription drugs can be a problem.

Red flags for substance abuse

So, how do you tell the difference between someone having an off day and someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol in the workplace or right before going to work?

The most obvious red flag is if a person is having more ‘off days’ than non ‘off days’ for no apparent reason. Someone who has suffered a loss in the family, for example, is going to have a period of time where they just aren’t fully engaged but that time will pass. For someone with a substance abuse issue, though, a tell-tale pattern of behavior is a constant. It may not be every single day, but it will likely be more than enough to spot a problem. Despite the fact that each drug affects the body differently, a drug abuse problem has some pretty consistent signs and symptoms.

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Drug abuse physical warning signs

  • bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than
  • deterioration of physical appearance
  • falling asleep or passing out at work
  • noticeable change in personal grooming habits for the worse
  • sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
  • unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing

Drug abuse behavioral signs

  • drop in performance or attendance at work
  • getting into trouble at work or outside of work frequently (e.g.: fights, accidents, illegal activities like driving under the influence)
  • secretive or suspicious behavior
  • unexplained need for money or financial problems, often accompanied by asking co-workers to borrow money or stealing from the company

Drug abuse psychological warning signs

  • appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid for no apparent reason
  • lack of motivation, person often appears lethargic or ‘spaced out’
  • sudden angry outbursts, mood swings or irritability
  • unexplained change in personality or attitude, particularly a negative change
  • unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness for short periods of time

Commonly Abused Drug Warning Signs

Depressants: (including Xanax, Valium, GHB): Contracted pupils; drunk-like state; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness.

Hallucinogens: (LSD, PCP): Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.

Heroin: Contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite.

Inhalants: (glues, aerosols, vapors): Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability.

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Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss; excessive snacking or eating at inappropriate times.

Stimulants: (including amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth): Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.

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Drug abuse in the workplace is an unfortunate reality, but knowing what to watch for, along with a comprehensive drug testing program, can go a long way toward eradicating it from your workplace.

Is s/he on drugs?

If your child, spouse or someone else you care about is displaying any of this type of behavior or physical signs, they might have a substance abuse issue.  But as long as motivation to quit using drugs is present, recovery is possible.  Please leave your questions about drug use here. We will do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

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About the author
Lena Butler is a mom, health blogger and customer service representative for TestCountry. TestCountry is a San Diego based point of service diagnostic test service provider that offers a wide range of laboratory and instant testing kit solutions including drug tests, metal toxicity, DNA paternity, food and water tests and hundreds more. TestCountry's tests are easy to use and can be performed at your home or workplace.


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  1. I am 20 and my boyfriend is 21. We’ve been together for 2 1/2 years, and within the last year we’ve had some hiccups with drugs. He had his wisdom teeth removed a year ago and was given Vicodin, which he saved after he was healed up. Without my knowledge, he slowly started to take them once in a while to “help him relax and calm down” because he has some anxiety issues that haven’t been addressed medically. I caught him once and got into a huge argument with him; he had a family member close to him die from opioid use and I have a family member in and out of rehab for it, so I was extremely disappointed and confused. The way I am, I forgive and move on from things easily, so that’s what I did after I made him throw them away and he promised to stop and acknowledged he was in the wrong and seemed sincere. In the last few months, he started using unprescribed Xanax which he got from a friend. I kind of knew about it and that didn’t freak me out because I think he honestly does need some help in that sense. But I thought it was just something he was gunna do once or twice.. he still uses it (not everyday but pretty regularly) and got some from his recent trip to Mexico and I got mad because it is literally from Mexico where basically all drugs are tainted and laced etc. He also tried coke there for his first time after I expressed my feelings to him about doing drugs/coke BEFORE he went on his trip (and I only know about it because he accidentally told me lol). A lot of people my age do that so it seems normal, but it’s a huge safety issue and I worry about it because of all his other problems and the fact that it’s been laced with so much fentanyl and people dying from it. Regardless, all that he’s been doing is bad for you and ILLEGAL. Up to speed now to yesterday, when we were together and he had a really bad migraine the day before and I was trying to help him figure out what was wrong, I’m 95% sure he casually told me that he took a hydrocodone the day prior to hell with his pain. I could have heard wrong, but what else would he be taking for pain (and he didn’t say ibuprofen or Tylenol for sure). It kinda stopped for a second to think about what he said because I was so suprised, and I moved on from it and didn’t say anything about it although I know I need to/want to. I don’t know where he got this drug from or why he thinks it’s okay to take that after EVERYTHING, and overall he’s a very kind well mannered person and boyfriend so I just don’t get it. I’m scared and worried and I’ve always been there for him when he struggled and I’m trying everything I can and if I wasn’t here I honestly think he would be a full on addict by now. I am going to try to talk to him today about the hydrocodone… but what more can I do?

  2. I been on meth hard 3 weeks straight. Any one answer why last night felt like i hade to piss but only cum came out? This has never happend to me

  3. Hi. One of my family members is using weed and he doesn’t want to stop. I told him that in our state its illegal. He is willing to deal with the consequences of his actions. I want to help him out, but he doesn’t want help. He lives at my parent’s house. They don’t know and his parents don’t know. I kinda wish that he could live in Arizona where its legal, but he doesn’t want to. If he doesn’t want my help then what should I do?

    1. Hi “Aunt” Seriously? Its weed. It will be legal everywhere soon. Find something else to worry about.
      BTW I dont smoke at all. I just think that it isn’t any more (actually way less) harmful than alcohol. You are taking about weed. Acting like he’s smoking meth or crack. Geez. If he is being unproductive from it then he needs to get his shit together.

  4. My nephew was an addict.. he lives with me.. he has been very helpful with chores etc. All of a sudden he is sleeping all the time even during the day. He wakes up to eat then goes back to bed. Is it possible he has used again. Thank you

  5. Hello, I have a friend who is a barn manager (runs a boarding facility with horses). Call her B. Well I know she smokes weed everyday and is a functional alcoholic but something more severe has been going on lately. There was a mutual understanding for years that what she did on her own time was none of our business as long as our horses were taken care of and her work was done. I had moved out of the area when a friend (call her M) told me she had been acting paranoid, having sudden outbursts of anger for no reason, B wrote M a 5 page letter that sounds like a different person and says some scary things, accusing people that they’re recording her, completely forgetting conversations that had happened 20 mins before, her money is gone “for no apparent reason” and accusing others of stealing it. It sounds like some kind of psychosis. M is scared for herself and horse. She is moving her horse asap. M B and I were all very close at one point but it has gotten to the point that M can no longer be friends with her due to her being scared for her own safety. She relayed this to me because she had resorted to calling owner of property to explain what has been going on and what shes seen. Well owner of property has given her 30 days to vacate (she will probably wait to be evicted to buy her some time). Owner of property decided this decision before M had called her. I am so worried M believes its crack and cocaine abuse, I know she’s had a past with meth. She has also become friends with someone who is a known drug addict in the horse community. My point is B is losing livelihood, Job, home, and all animals most likely all in one sweep with no where to go. I am scared she will purposefully try and kill herself or overdose before the month is over. I have no idea how to help her as I’ve tried to get her to confess to me that she is using so we can come up with a game plan but she is not even coherent enough to talk to and hates M with all her heart and is blaming M for telling her to basically get in line because she runs a business. What do I do to help her?

  6. Hello so up until the beginning of November my boyfriend was working n following all his appointments for probation. Then suddenly his mood and appearance changed he was using meth. He was arrested for driving without a license and admitted it to me. He swears he is clean now and attitude wise he is the same guy I fell in love with but he still messes with his old pick marks gr doesn’t create new ones. Is he still using or is it that he is just trying to clear them away like pimples? Please help..

  7. I know my husband is snorting illegal substances. I’ve had multiple reasons to believe he is and plenty evidence to prove it to be true. However he lies to me and denies it continuously. I don’t know what to do. It’s getting very hard to not say anything about it. I take anxiety medication to calm my nerves and even that’s not helping anymore. Hiw do I approach illegal drug use?

  8. It can be very challenging to address drug addiction because in many cases a person will adamantly deny it. They may make great promises and swear on their mothers grave. It is so important to lovingly challenge a person who has destructive behaviors and not ignore it or just let it go. Great article and something that is very challenging to identify if someone is trying to keep it a secret.

  9. I’ve just realised tonight that my husband has a drug problem we haven’t recently separated and he has change in his appearance the need of money personality change mood swings I know if I say anything to him he will get angry he already suffers with depression and done things out of character before but never to this extent I’m worried he his to deep with his addiction and owing money as he is selling thing really cheap like his treasure he had for years and he. Also new life with someone else and the change in stared around as I look back over the last few months what can I do to help but looks as I’m helping

  10. You know what Lena, those are all great, but what you failed to mention was the little tidbit, a little detail that without creates a bunch of lost friendships. All those symptoms you do generously listed above, might be nice to let people know that about 50-100 other conditions cause them to. Guess what happens if your don’t. You get to deal with drama living friends who feel empowered by your article to basically go out and start making those “expert” diagnoses. Don’t worry, a handful say have some sort of psychological education, even a good year degree, which qualifies them to do… Well… not a goddamned thing.

    I’m currently dealing with exactly such a thing thanks to articles such as these making hundreds of thousands of Dr. Googles to diagnose everyone. Oh, but don’t try and defend yourself, or offer an alternate viewpoint. No, by God if you do that, you are subject to the standard condescending BS sigh, and the patronizing tone when they say something to the effect of “yeah, this is a common response when an addict is challenged.”

    Right now I’m a meth addict, I’m also a kratom addict, think, but whenever I ask what I’m addicted to, here comes the signs. The latter is based on the rigorous clinical study where a guy sees me taking it from time to time. The fact that I take it everyday for a medical reason, and while there would be a potential physical dependency to work through if I decide to stop taking it, I’m an addict. I’m not saying it was you, but I guarantee this guy saw it once, had no objections to accepting the confirmation bias, and it was solidified.

    If you’ve never had to deal with this, it’s something I’m not going to tolerate anymore. They’ll say something to suggest that this will impact other people to who I’ll ask how, and I’ll be sighed at…

  11. Family member member coming in early hours of the morning. Banging around slurred speech. Sleeping all day. Then doing it all over again next day. Half over hearing odd phone conversations.

  12. Hello,
    At my college, many students are on drugs including my friends. I don’t even know how they keep up with schooll schedules or physically be at the classes. I am genuinely worried about them. How long can they survive with that kind of a life style?

    1. Hi Deniz. This kind of life style is dangerous and can be life-threatening. Also, taking drugs can have long-term health effects. Maybe you can try talking with your friends about the dangers of taking drugs and together you can explore some treatment options.

  13. Niki – he could very well be doing cocaine, amphetamines, or drinking. Stimulants trigger becoming easily agitated, aggressive, irritable. Alcohol also has this effect on some people. It also could be a mental health issue as opposed to a substance abuse issue. Look up manic or hypomania episode of bipolar disorder and see if he fits the criteria. He could also have an undiagnosed personality disorder. I have someone in my life who acts like what you described, and he is a narcissistic personality. Underlying mental health issues can greatly affect mood regulation, and certain disorders make it extremely difficult to control anger, even over insignificant things. I hope you can find help and peace.

  14. Kay – mirtazapine should be taken at bedtime because of its strong sedative properties. It is a very strong version of Benadryl for example. It’s an antihistamine, anti nausea, appetite stimulant, antidepressant, anti anxiety, and is used in depressed or anxiety ridden patients with insomnia. It should not be taken during waking hours because slurring and stumbling will occur. Mirtazapine doesn’t make you feel high, it makes you so tired that you have to lay down and sleep. If someone is awake on mirtazapine, it’s just not a good idea. It’s a great sleep aid and 30mg is the standard dose so it’s not too strong, in fact 15mg will produce mire side effects than higher doses. Clonazepam is also hard to get high off of, unless the prescribing doctor has him on a very high dose. It’s a mild sedative that lasts very long in the system, as opposed to short acting sedatives like alprazolam (Xanax, which is highly abusable). It’s hard to get a prescription for 2mg of Clonazepam which would be one of the highest strengths available. So unless it’s not being taken as directed and more is being taken, Clonazepam is usually well tolerated and the only downside to it is it can make a person who has a tenedency toward depression or who has existing depression, it can make them more bummed out and down, which isn’t good. It is excellent for chronic anxiety.

  15. Hi
    I suspect my boyfriend is using some sort of substance.
    He has mood swings and outburts where he is not reasonable at all.
    He has had diluted pupils. I think he is a binge drinker so Im not sure if the drugs are taken to enable him to party longer. He has done cocaine once before as far as I know, but he knows I am against substance abuse so He would never tell me. Suspicious activity like going to the mall at 7:30 pm on a saturday night when the only thing open are restuarants and he wont tell me why he is there and then later comes up with an excuse, yet was extremely defensive and carries a pepper spray.
    Are these symptoms enough?

  16. My boyfriend and I were together 1 year and 5 days. I have 2 children. He has a total of 3 of his own. First 5 months were absolutely amazing. Then the fighting started. Literally he left me in Walmart, in tears in an argument over dinner ideas, and or food. One time, after pulling up at a stop sign, he threw my car into park, and took off walking.
    We fought every 5-7 days. Nasty fights over nothing. I started to withdrawal from him big time, as I have lived way too many years in abusive, toxic relationships.
    I’m so lost since he left June 15th. I cry all the time. I crumbled, and saw him recently. He said a lot of our problem is his need to feel wanted. Um, that doesn’t justify the nasty words, etc. I’m super mentally twisted. This wasn’t all my fault.

    Is he on drugs?

  17. For the last year, my 22 year old family member is living with me, along with his girlfriend and their dog, after spending over a year in jail because of illegal drug usage. He was doing quite well until they started having problems. In the last 2 weeks, I have noticed unusual behavior and thought it was because of the personal problems, but yesterday, I was delivering bedding to their bedroom and found a syringe on the floor. After looking under the bed, I found a bag of meth stuffed in the mattress. I took both, but haven’t said anything yet because I am not sure how to handle it. I don’t know what to do.

  18. Hi , My bf and I been together for 20 years , last year I accused him of doing drums because his eyes were always glossy red and acting a little different , this got serious ,I kept thinking he was doing drums . He has been tested 10 times duriing one year period for many drugs including , blood , urine , and hair fulicule test. All tests came up negative . He still looks high to me sometimes , but the doctors said his tests are negative so I have to believe is not doing drugs , could be something else .
    Should I believe this test results or is it possible to be a type of drug that don’t show on drug tests ?

  19. A person told me to drop in on my way back…got there…no money….nothing in fridge or pantry…said only need milk….house / rooms cluttered…oven on floor ..due to a fight…??..broken glass table on grass in front yard …rubbish and junk in back area…really long grass ..mower broken??…

  20. Hi there, I am concerned for my partner. He use to take clonazepam and even though he said he only took one, he seemed “drunk” and had constricted pupils. Now he has started a new medication because I was not happy with how he acted on clonazepam. He started taking Mirtazipine. He seemed fine on it last month but he just got a refill yesterday, and when I came home he seemed “drunk” and was slurring his words. He says they upped him from 15mg to 30mg and that’s why. However I don’t feel like that should make him act that way. Does that seem like a side effect of too much Mirtazipine?

  21. Hi Lindsey. Narcolepsy can be diagnosed by a medical doctor who is a sleep specialist. A drug test can quickly confirm or rest your suspicions. But it’s a little tricky. You’ll need to get his consent. And you’ll need to approach the issue with sensitivity, and concern. Be sure you’re in the room with him if he does the pee test; if he is using drugs, he may try to do anything to avoid getting caught. But with a young child…why risk anything? there is just too much that can go wrong. Have you spoken with anyone you trust about this? I’d suggest that you talk with someone close who can guide you to make a decision you feel good about.

  22. Hi. I believe that my boyfriend could be on drugs or he is narcoleptic. He falls asleep during the day slurs his words like he is drunk and sometimes can’t even walk. We have a baby and there has been times where he is just sleeping and not watching her but sleeping in odd places like the dining room table. Also his driving is now being affected by this.. he will swerve off the road and when i ask him what he is doing he says im fine. Should i suspect drugs or does this sound more like narcelpsy?

  23. Hi so I’m in a difficult situation and i don’t know what to do. I am only 14 years old and I’ve noticed some signs in behavior of my mum. Some days she is fine and some days she’s paranoid and screaming at me and calling me horrible names for no reason. some of my other family members have been showing some behaviour of drug use as well. I know that my mum and her boyfriend know some dodgy people and are always acting suspicious and If I try to speak to mum about it she gets really angry and defensive about it. I have 2 younger brothers and I don’t want this affecting them. I then went through my mums messages which I know sounds bad but with all the signs of drug use I didn’t know another way to assure that’s what they were doing. It turns out they do do drugs and them and I don’t know what to do about it. Please help me on what I should do.

    1. Hi Laura. Call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

  24. Hello. My husband was a user before and had been to rehabilation center. He’s cleared about a year. But now I noticed and confirmed that he is using again. I asked him but he refused. I don’t believe him. I know that he is up to something. He broke my trust. And now we are having a baby soon. I am afraid. I don’t know how to build again my trust with him. I told him to stop it. He never made a promise. But I will still try to trust him. Although this kept running in my mind. Everytime he is away. I just can’t stop thinking. I always ask him if he is up to something. I can’t help it.

  25. I have a 22 year old son . I think he is doing drugs he eats a lot and sleep a lot he stop grooming his self he is very disrespectful he curses me out very aggressive don’t wants to work I try to get help with him but every where I try I get turn down am a single mother am stress out don’t know what to do any more I need help please can some one help me

  26. I have a feeling my brother is using drugs.he is always sleeping for hours,neglecting his appearance,never having money and asking for a loan of money from family members .although he works I am concerned for him and don’t where he goes in the middle of the night

    1. Hi Lisa. Did you search for an evidence? And, when you have a proof that your brother is using, tell your parents, and help him.

  27. Hi,
    I see very strange behaviours from my boyfriend. He lost a lot of weight. He is getting angry all the time. Whenever I go somewhere that he is not there, he accuses me of having relationship with someone else. He shouts a lot. He was good 8 months ago but he got worsr and worse through passage of time. We were supposed to move in this month but I schanged my decision as I feel like he is not the person that I met last year.
    He gave me a watch as a gift on my birthday and I lost it recently while I know I put it in my bag. I think he might took it.
    Still not sure if he consume any drug. Can you please help me figure out if thats the case.
    Thank you

  28. Hi Erica. Yes, you’ll want to mention your concerns with your lawyer. A random drug test can confirm your suspicions and can be based on urine or hair, which can detect drugs for a few days up to 90 days for hair. The hair tests may cost a little more, but they are very precise.

  29. My husband has had an addictive personality since I have new him. this year in March his dad past away, but there were not close because his father was abusive. He buys pain meds off of buddies for pain he says but I believed it’s for a different purpose, he gets mad easily, blames everyone but himself, money goes missing, he tells me the money is for pills, he filed for divorce because he does not want to talk about the bill problem and why he never wants to be home. He is losing weight, stays out till hours of the night. I have a meeting with my lawyer on Wednesday were my husband filed for divorce, should I bring up that my husband might be addicted to pills cause I don’t know for 100%. And his best friend and uncle are who he buys them from

  30. My son’s mom has been showing signs that I believe could be drug usage habits… She constantly is looking around like she’s expecting someone to be there… Twitching, Making no sense in conversation, other visual things its hard to detail. I was told by one of her close friends that she admitted she getting over her head with dope.. Anyway I can find out for sure and get my son away before something extreme happens? Cops here don’t seem motivated to get into it.

    1. Hi Sonia. Call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best rehab program for you.

  31. My husband just admitted to me today that he has relapsed after 6yrs sober with Meth. Me I am completely oblivious to the warning signs or anything to do with Meth. He said he used yesterday and throughout today I noticed his pupils got smaller but then tonight there dilated again. Does that mean he used again and is lieing to me about it? How can I tell if hes lieing or not, I have put so much trust in him and now I dont know.

  32. I have an od question. I do not smoke, I may have about 5 drinks in a year, and I do not do drugs. Two days ago I had my employees and my self do drug and alcohol testing for a new job we are starting. They all passed except myself. My test came came out that I had Cristal Meth in my system. I don’t even know what it is or looks like. We did three different tests and they all came out the same. So now I’m trying to find out how I got it in my system. Can I get it from touching something a user has touched or through clothing or would I had to of had it put in my food or something? No one can even tell me how long it stays in you system so I can look back and try to pinpoint were it came from.

  33. Hi, I’m finally reaching out for help. My “fiance'” has been secretly abusing opiates for about 6 years on and off. I’ve caught her through mutual loved ones forcing confessions of her daughter (who is ALSO an addict) & cell phone texts between her & her daughter who gives her the drugs. I’ve been with this woman for almost 5 years. I only discovered the problem about 2 years ago. She admitted she HAD a problem when we met but was over it. She is a CNA at a local nursing home. A very good one, which worries me. Every Time I notice the changes of her behavior (that I learned through reputable sites like this one) I confront her. Only to be scolded and told I’m crazy & she’s sick and tired of my accusations. I’ve even pleaded with her daughter to STOP giving her drugs yet they have this secret connection of unhealthy friendship of deception rather than “Mother / Daughter” connection of Love, Health, Happiness & HOPE. The daughter is currently in a bad downward spiral of life selling all varieties of drugs for money since she lost her job due to drug problems. Her mother knows about it yet still doesn’t tell her daughters PO (Probation Officer from a DUI where she almost killed people under the influence of drugs & alcohol. I’m really at a loss how long do I subject myself to this. Most articles I read are from women whose husbands or boyfriends are the lying addicts. I don’t want her to lose her job of 11 years. Moreover, see her lose her daughter’s life from this opiate problem SHE is clearly enabling. She bugs her daughter for her subutex (Daughter is prescribed) from what I read over the past 6 months. Part of me wants to call the cops on her daughter to save BOTH their lives but I know that will end this relationship that deep down I wonder why I’m fighting for. Please Help….. Sincerely Lost Do I stay or do I go?

  34. We suspect our son is using drugs. We have flat out asked him, nearly accusing him. Of course he denies it. His appearance has changed, drop in weight mostly. He still showers and everything daily. He has started vaping, with his friends. He just turned 18, so that’s legal. However, last night his friend and he came back from an unknown friends house. His friends eyes were badly bloodshot. My son was far too calm. I have searched his room, if he has it I don’t know where he’s keeping it. We have told him no drugs here. We told him no vaping too. However, he’s still sneaking around and vaping in our home and in his car. We truly are at a loss, what do we do?

  35. I’ve been reading through the comments Below in the blog I know my daughter’s using I have found evidence she’s changed she will sleep and let her kids just run around the house for hours she doesn’t eat she stays up all night and sleeps during the day her appearance is filthy now so sleeping at work clothes and get up and go back to work and work clothes she has no friends anymore and just the way she carries her body is completely different

  36. What are the tell-tale signs of mescaline abuse? I know of someone who consumed mescaline supposedly for spiritual healing. After the ceremony, this person became hyper sensitive to ‘energy’, claimed to have gone to the 7 levels of heavens and also became very aggressive to selective peoplw

  37. Hi there i’m worried that my dad might be abusing substances as i’ve done some reasearch and he does have some of the symptoms but i don’t want to ask him, he’s recently got divorced and has started dating again but he hardly ever eats, some days he’s really happy other times he’s quite irratible, he’s constantly telling me to stay away when he’s typing messages on his phone,he seems to be not shaving or getting haircuts as often and is often quite pale? I’m not sure wether it’s a phase or something else. I can’t really do anything as i’m only 14 and i just thought i would as for some advice! Thanks in advance

  38. My honey has been acting very different in the past 4 months. Loud outburst not making sense in his conversations mood swings and very withdrawn from family and friends. He talks to himself in the dark. He is completely a total different person. I need help to see if he is on drugs

    1. Hi Donesha. Maybe an at-home hair drug test from the local pharmacy can help you get some answers? Some drug test can detect a wide range of illicit and prescription drugs.

  39. Hi, I’ve been seeing my current boyfriend for a couple of months,he is a Dr by profession.Because of distance we don’t see each other much and we still trying to get to know one another. I was rushing to a meeting this afternoon and we saw each other briefly but he was acting really strange, he was fidgety and he kept rubbing his hands together frantically, his eyes were a bit red and and he kept closing them as though he’s about to pass out. I know this is unusual behavior but how do I approach this?

  40. Hi, i went to camp about a month ago and met some friends. One of those girls, lets call her Kelly, gave me her Snapchat. After i get home, we start talking some. Then I see her smoking marijuana and she is 15. She said her older sister gives it to her. I know her first name and the city she lives in but that’s it. My necklace disappeared at camp and after she got home, she found it in her luggage. I asked if she could mail it to me, she said she probably couldn’t. La asked her why and she unfriended me. That necklace was really important to me. Also, before she unfriended me, she posted a lot of pictures of top-naked African American women or her story. I confronted her about the pictures and that was about the time she unfriended me. This happened a few weeks ago. In worried and don’t know what to do. Please help, I’m 14 and I don’t want my family to be disappointed in me.

    To connect families and individuals struggling with addiction to necessary and appropriate treatment options.

    1. Hi Anna. Maybe you can talk to your parents or a school counselor about this. I don’t think that you’d be able to help Kelly with her situation if she’s unfriended you and doesn’t want to be in touch. Your parents can call the camp and get the telephone number of Kelly’s parents or guardians. This may be your only shot at getting your necklace back.

  41. It’s been almost 8 years since my brothers change. I was in high school when I noticed it. He was once so cool, my favorite person to be around. Smart, helpful, and always there for me. We had moved away from our home town where he stayed with grandparents at 17. Went to jail twice for selling drugs, a few month in juvy and 1 year in jail. He hasn’t been the same since and I could only assume he must have been traumatized or something. He would come in his 20s ti visit, yet sleep All day, for days. He would do weird things like back flips to show off at my graduation. Here, my best friend, who I was once so proud of, embarrassing me with his weird behavior. Years past and it’s only proggeased for the worst. He was paranoid helicopters were following him, and now years later, he is so angry, it’s like he had a mental breakdown and will text me and my mom blaming her for awful things, calling me names and saying that he works for the government as a secret assasin? I asked him if he was on drugs but who would admit that to their little sister so of course he said no. I’m convinced he is and want to help in any way. I don’t know where to start since I really have no physical proof. Are these even signs of drug abuse? Or maybe a mental disorder?..

    1. Hi Monica. I’d suggest you talk to your brother and have him see a doctor for further evaluation. It sounds like he needs help for the situation that he is facing. The best way to find out whether his paranoia and hallucinations are drug-induced or he needs mental health treatment is by medical examination of both scenarios.

  42. My soon to be husband has done the hard core drugs before. I know he smokes weed but people are saying he is asking for stuff and when I ask him, he tells me he isnt n I believe him but what else can I do

  43. Hi,
    I am in a bit of a rough situation. My boyfriend recently got out of rehab about 5 months ago from an addiction to crack and heroin. He was going really strong in the beginning of our relationship, but it has taken a complete turn the past two weeks. Two weeks ago he told me he would change and he doesn’t want to risk this relationship. He gets randomly angry at me at the most random times and has outbursts. He is the head chef at my job. Over two weeks ago he told me he wasn’t sleeping. Shortly after that he started changing. He looks different, perfusely sweating at work, random mood swings, and very immature and outragious behavior. Not to mention he’s been loosing a lot of weight and his face is looking sunken in. The other day I found him outside sleeping on a dumpster. Today, he disappeared and fell asleep in his car for hours. He was not present to attend his job so other employees in the kitchen had to take his spot for the night. I go outside find him laying in his truck sleeping and shaking intensely. I wake him up and his eyes were bloodshot and looked very off. (I’ve noticed his eyes like this recently before) his mouth is all dry and has cuts on it. I try to approach him to see if he is using again but he denies and denies. I don’t know what to do. Could he be on drugs again or is he mentally unstable?

  44. My daughter of 39 was on drugs big time at age 14 to 25 about and than was clean for about ten years after a one stay in a rehabilitation upstate NY. In the last couple of years she as had some back trouble and surgery was on 5 mg 2 three times a day. I now sound out that the last few months she is on Morphine any surggestion. Needless to say I am very worried. She had the surgery to get off pain pills. So she says.

  45. Hi i want to ask how can i tell if my brother is into other drugs beside Marijuana. He has confessed to me that he sometimes takes marijuana and i told him to stop it and it’s harmful but he responds me with ohh no it’s not like that everyone takes it etc. I told him if you get any drugs then you will pass to other more dangerous drugs, he always says no. But sometimes he is very depressed and everytime he is depressed says to me that it’s my fault and that i dont love or understand him, sometimes he goes like crazy and breaks things with his hand and again he tell me that it’s my fault. I don’t know what to do! We lost our parents in very young age and he is all i have in life i love him and im scadred about him. Please can anyone tell me what to do

  46. My boyfriend has frequent mood swings and will snap over cooking eggs and washing clothes. He will clean and clean and seems OCD about everything. We live together and everyday is s struggle! He is very thin and i noticed tonight he keeps jerking and twitching in his sleep. He admitted years ago he did drugs and i haven’t seen any drugs in the house or on him but his behavior is unberable. Could it be that he’s moody because he smokes and drinks alot of coffee? I want to know the truth and if he really is an addict. I would like to mention he makes almost 70,000 a year but he lives with me now because he lost his place and never paid his bills. He says he’s just bad with money but when you make that much he shouldn’t be getting his car repossessed and evicted!

  47. My husband locks himself in the room sometimes for an entire day..I’m worried that he might be using again and I’m unaware of what to look for.

  48. Hello,
    I have an inkling that my boyfriend and father of my child is using heroin. Snorting it most likley as i dont see track marks. He of course denies it, and refuses to tell me the truth. I found tan powder in a white piece of paper that he tried to pass off as crushed up sleeping pills, and let me flush it down the toilet. My question is, can i call cps on him and not risk my self or losing my daughter. he doesnt work, im the only one working and he watches her while im at work so im concerned for her saftey and what shes seeing when hes home alone. I just want him to get help and save my daughter from seeing anything like this. i want to leave him but want him to get help and feel if i leave he will end up dying

    1. Hi Jo. First, I suggest that you look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help:
      Moreover, our contributor Amanda Andruzzi, speaks from a personal experience as an ex-wife of an addict. Feel free to leave a comment on some of her articles, she will respond personally and promptly:
      Then, call a toll-free Heroin Helpline on 1-888-988-7934 to get in touch with trusted and confidential helpline professionals available 24/7.

  49. All drugs are bad, face it yr going down soon or later , u can’t beat the odds for u period, u can’t beat. The odds . If yr on it. Get off as some as u can !

  50. I found my 23 year old son(already been to prison 2x for burglary), zoned out, almost comatose by an open window in 30 degree weather. There was some kind of rolled up foil on the floor and a lighter. I have no doubt he is using something. He keeps begging us to test him, that he’ll test clean. What could possibly put him in such a deep ‘out of it state’ and him still be confident he’ll test clean?

  51. Hi, I suspect my boyfriend is a drug user, he snorts the whole time, puts on lip ice all the time and uses nasal spray frequently, he seems distant at times, please help as i have never used or known anyone who did drugs, i am completely uneducated on this matter. He has used drugs several months ago before we met. Please help

  52. I think that my boyfriend has a drug problem. He has alot of the sign listed with the use of cocaine,herion and adderal.He also drinks at least 2-3 40oz beers a day. When we met he was doing herion, when he eanted a realitionship with me I told him he had to get clean and I would help him in any way possible. He called his dr and long story short he got into the methadone clinic which was in Febuary 2016. He was doing good but I feel that he is back using cocaine and or herion as well as adderall. I have siggested rehab and he says that rehabs dont work and hes not going back to one. I know he has lied to me according to his phone text, I got him to go with me to therapy only twice.I am a 1yr.cancer survivor, thats why Im in therapy. I dont use drugs and I dont abuse sny of my rx drugs, i dont smoke anything, or drink alcoholh. I have stood by him and I feel like Ive done all I can to help in every way. Am I in a no win situation with him if he is lieing about his drug use and refusing rehab? I know that may be a stupid qiestion I dont want to feel gulity if I break up with him snd feel that I have let him down. He currently lives with me…any advice? Thank you

  53. Hello there,theres something id like to consult to you.. I had a common law partner now and I think he’s using drugs but not sure what it is…I always observed him and everytime his friend came around.i noticed him he cleaned the house like a frick and very alert and fast to move and not even sleeping the normal hour.than his normal routine he always sleep that he doesnt want to get up to bed, and he doesnt want to work in the house like hes very tired during the day…to think that he just looking after for our baby only…and everytime I asked him what happened to him why he didn’t sleep he always said that he slept all day with the baby.he does that too in a regular basis but he still can sleep during night..are those the symptoms that he’s under drugs?or im just paranoid and thinking that he is doing it? Please help me clear my mind dont know what to do its affecting me and my baby in my womb cuz everytime I saw him not sleeping I cant go back to sleep too 🙁 hoping for ur reply…
    Thanks a lot and more powers!

  54. I suspect a work colleague of taking cocaine. She’s always a hundred miles an hour,she’s had a constant blocked nose (from January since she started)! She’s always complaining she hasn’t any money but is always working overtime,her pupils are dilated most of the time and she is the life and soul one minute and the next she’s as flat as a pancake. I know that the company she keeps take it every weekend also as one of them is a school friend from years ago and have heard talk of a couple of her friends deal

  55. I believe my boyfriend is hooked on drugs. He told me he use to sell and use drugs when he was younger but doesn’t do drugs anymore. I’m confused because he acts weird every week when i see him he gets agitated and snaps at me and his Kids and doesn’t stop moving and cleans non stop. He has light eyes so i can see his pupils which are extra constricted. The number one thing that bothers me is that he makes almost 70,000 a year and is always broke. He doesn’t have food in the house, all his furniture looks like he found it on the side of the road. He has a ripped futon in his livingroom and doesn’t even have a bedroom set. I’m confused because how can make so much money and can’t afford milk and cereal for his Kids? He’s a grown man over 40 and has a body of a boy….he is extra skinny and he says because he smokes and works all day without lunch. His snappy erratic behavior has pushed me to decide to leave him. His moods are too much crying one minute and yelling the next. Am i in denial and could be still using drugs?

  56. Hi husband told me that he is using the so called shabu. And as per him husing it for more than a year..his behavior change and always thinking that im cheating on him.. he always suspected me that i am having another guy. And that affects our relationship even my kids and his wor. What shall i do? I really badly your advise. Hoping for you response immediately.thank you

    1. Hi Connie. Shabu is a slang term for methamphetamine. Meth is referred to as “shabu” typically in Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia. He needs professional meth addiction treatment. You can call the free helpline displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers and get the needed information on where to start.

  57. Hi
    My husband has started making very out of character choices in his business. He is under huge financial strain but i cant work out where all the money is going. He is working away lots and i have been through his phone and found a name and message asking a guy for tickets. His sleep is all over the shop and he is very unpredictable goes from happy to angry and his sentences dont make sense a lot of the time.
    Do u think its a drug problem

  58. Hi. I have an “Ex”, my childs father who has changed dramatically over the years. I know he smokes pot & drinks, but he is constantly not showing up when supposed to, hours late, extreme mood swings, sweats alot, is doing very poorly…I’m very concerned that he has an addiction to something more than Pot or Alchohol, which is already a problem…Any thing particular I should look for? He also often has pen writing on his legs…

  59. Hello I’m concerned about my 30 year old daughter if she’s doing drugs or not. The issues are she’s lacking on bills don’t provide for her kids very in responsible selfish use folks to get what she want she has gotton evicted haven’t paid rent 5 mos have no money . she spends her income only on her her husband family has a history of drug use I wonder if my daughter got cought up I’m so confused. Blams everyone for her fsults but her.Thank you..?

    1. Hi, Cathy. Have you found some evidence that your daughter is using it? If not, maybe she has other problems. I suggest you talk with her without bringing conclusions right away.

  60. I tell myself to quit meth. Or i let myself know why i should quit and my response is i know. I try to plan out a weekend that i can just sleep it off but for one reason or another it doesn’t happen. I feel like that day is coming closer. Am i doing the right thing or am i just fooling myself, and what should i do to better my chances of quitting this crap. Ive been using for less than a year. I really want to stop.

    1. Hi Freddy. One of the signs of addiction to a drug is the inability to stop use despite being aware of the numerous risks and damages, and despite truly wishing to stop use. You can call the helpline number displayed on our page to revise your options and set up a treatment plan that fits your needs.

  61. Hello, I am new to my job and I am trying to fit in the best I can. I have a co worker who is a nice enough guy but I have a really hard time getting in a work groove with him. It’s very busy and we work with patients. He seems to space out at work, gets really quiet and his eyes are super dilated. There are times I ask a question and I swear I cannot understand what he is saying. This usually happens mid afternoon, right after lunch. He doesn’t talk to me much so I really don’t know anything about him. I’m still learning and I really need his help. I don’t feel comfortable talking with any other co workers about this. There are times I really need him to snap out of it and help. We were having a small crisis the other day and he just wasn’t there for me. What do you think his issue is? I don’t think it’s normal.

  62. Hello Anon. It sounds like your instincts are spot on; seek help through the social services or state department of health in your state. Speak with a social worker, a psychotherapist, a community leader, or anyone in the know…and figure out the steps you need to take to maintain custody and require supervision during his visits. We just did an interview from a child visitation and monitoring service that you might find helpful:

  63. hi there. i am in a difficult situation, and was hoping for some help. my ex had a complete personality change about 2 1/2 years ago. we’d been married for a decade, and had a 15 month old daughter at the time. suddenly he was cagey, and kept claiming that i didn’t trust him when i tried to discuss his erratic behavior. ultimately, he found a girlfriend and moved out, and has stayed out of our lives ever since, until now. in that time, he never even so much as called to check on his child a single time. he is incredibly angry, doesn’t feel he has done anything wrong, and now wants to be a part of our daughter’s life. i’m concerned. i don’t want to deprive my daughter of her father, but i know he has changed. he no longer takes care of himself. he has gained weight, doesn’t appear to be properly groomed, and has no ability to interact with others in a normal manner (he mostly just sits there without speaking). he has a job but no vehicle and doesn’t pay support, which makes me wonder where his money is going. he claims to be broke, and when asked why, only provided the answer, “because life sucks.” i fear for my daughter to learn from his anger and attitude. she’s 3 now, and she’s very bright, and is soaking up life like a sponge. soon, we’ll have to get divorced (he just walked away from his life, no final conversations, no divorce, no contact)…. and the courts will have a say so in how much visitation he can receive. i DO NOT want to entrust my daughter to him, and i’m afraid for her… if he takes her overnight, will she eat when she’s hungry? will she be exposed to drug abuse? will she be faced with his anger problem, if say she has trouble spending the night away from her mommy, or doesn’t get to the potty on time? so my question for you is, is there enough evidence of a drug problem to keep from sharing custody? i do not seek to keep him out of her life entirely, but i don’t want him taking her out of my sight. he has already shown control issues (making her say please before he’ll put her down – she hasn’t seen him for 2 1/2 years and he is virtually a stranger!) in dealing with her. now the courts will have a say, and i’m so scared that they’ll give him parental rights! what can i do? is there sufficient cause to ask for a drug test? if he passes, is this conclusive proof that he’s not doing drugs? can i request a psychiatric evaluation? i cannot discuss this with him, due to his anger problem. frankly, i don’t want to be on the evening news, and YES i fear his anger issue is that volatile. he seems like a barely controlled ball of rage, and if he acts like that in front of me, how will he act when he’s got her alone? are there any steps i can take to deescalate the situation if he starts to get out of hand? any recommendations for how to deal with this? does this sound like drugs are involved, or am i likely on the wrong track? please help… and thank you.

  64. Hi Cindi. You are in a tough spot. I’d suggest that you follow your gut instinct. Perhaps find out whether your company supports people in addiction treatment by referring them to rehab…and/or what kinds of consequences disclosure would have. Is there an employee handbook that you can consult?

  65. Hello, I have been put in a very awkward position as a co-worker has confided in me that she is addicted to pills. She has contacted a doctor who she said have her a prescription to get off the drug as an out patient. I recommended she also go too NA. Anyway, my problem is do I say anything to the HR Dept or keep this to myself? I feel a certain responsibility to my company and she does have access to others personal information and credit card numbers, etc. What do I do?

  66. Hi Tony. Paranoia is a symptom of abuse of stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamines, or ADHD drugs. I’d suggest that you speak with a psychiatrist about your concerns and seek a diagnosis for a possible underlying mental health disorder that has gone unnoticed until now. All the best!

  67. Hi there,
    I am doing research on illegal drug use and was wondering if you could help me with a question I have. To make a long story short, I ended up in hospital because of paranoia, and after no illegal drugs were found in my blood or urine, they kept on insisting and persisting that I am a user of illegal drugs. My question is, if you pass a blood and urine test, is that not conclusive evidence that one is not taking illegal drugs? I am greatly offended at this false accusation which is why I am doing research on the topic. Thank you.
    Kind Regards.

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