If you have any questions about other signs and symptoms of abuse or if you suspect abuse but aren't sure and would like more information to have conclusive evidence please feel free to contact us anytime and we will always be more than willing to help

Cocaine Rehab


Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse

There are many different kinds of drugs and substances of abuse and for each there are usually visible and recognizable signs and symptoms of abuse. Knowing the symptoms of drug abuse and being able to check for specific signs can make the difference in recognizing a problem early and overlooking addiction until it is completely out of control. Aside from the internal changes a drug user experiences there are physical signs that are very easy to recognize. The key to this recognition is knowing the effects of these various drugs on the brain and body then looking for the outward signs of these effects.

What are the Signs of Cocaine Meth and Stimulant Abuse?

With stimulants such as cocaine and meth the physical effects are generally very common including elevated body temperature increased heart rate and blood pressure decreased appetite and increased attention. People under the influence of stimulant drugs will have the appearance of someone who is suspiciously too alert seeming to appear nervous and sweating often thinking and moving very quickly with abnormally high energy.

Another sign of stimulant use can be found in the eyes. Generally in very low lights normal eyes will dilate to get more light but constrict in brighter light to adjust to the abundance of light entering the eye. In comparison with normal pupil size under various light conditions persons under the influence of stimulants will appear to have dilated pupils - the eyes will look like big black holes and any color in the eye will be hard to see around the pupil.

Often this physical effect will make a the eyes appear to be "popping" out of the head. This dilation of the pupils is a permanent effect for the duration of the high no matter the lighting so if a person in daylight for example and the pupils appear to be dilated this is a good indicator of stimulant use in conjunction with the above mentioned symptoms. The picture to the left is an example of a dilated pupil where the eye color is difficult to see around the size of the pupil. For parents spouses siblings friends and children who know what an individual usually looks like at sober times examining the pupil's size and factoring other symptoms like abnormal energy attention and high body temperature are very conclusive signs for stimulant use.

What are the Signs of Opiate Abuse?

Opiates such as heroin morphine and pain prescription medication like OxyContin and Vicodin are central nervous system depressants which slow the functions of the brain and body. Often persons under the influence of opiates will experience slurred speeach appear very tired and often fall in and out of sleep (nodding off) have a hard time standing or sitting straight and appear extremely unbalanced and uncoordinated. Individuals under the influence of opiates opposite to stimulants will seem far too relaxed and often oblivious to their surroundings without a care in the world. During the high of opiate use individuals under the influence are in a trance or sleep like state unable to function normally and find it very difficult to keep their eyes open during normal activities.

Additional signs of opiate abuse can again be found in the eye. Contrary to stimulant abuse with opiate abuse the pupils appear to be extremely constricted to the point of looking like pins in the eye. This effect is often used to describe people high on opiates as "pinned". As illustrated in the image to the left the pupils are almost invisible due to their small size. Often even in the brightest of lights normal eyes do not constrict to the point they do in persons under the influence of opiates. Along with this dramatic change from normality the other signs of opiate abuse are very clear. Thinking logically there is no amount of fatigue that can mirror the extreme effects of opiate abuse and when combined with the constricted pupils a very clear picture can be presented to conclude abuse.

General Signs of Abuse and Addiction

In general symptoms of substance abuse can be easily recognized most especially when the abuse is still in early stages. Once tolerance has an opportunity to develop along with dependence the signs can be harder to identify. As with any condition tolerance to substances of abuse can often allow the user to circumvent many of the side effects -often the abuse of multiple drugs to counteract the extreme effects of any single substance. The most important thing to consider in determining whether your loved one is under the influence of drugs or alcohol is to examine their behavior.

If someone begins to behave in a manner that is not normal for that person this change in personality and behavior is enough to raise suspicion and warrant further investigation. It is important in the fight against addiction to do whatever is necessary to save a life and not try to ignore the problem or avoid confrontation. If you see signs that lead you to believe a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol reaction time is limited before life completely spirals out of control. As long as substances provide a high the warning signs will always be there but the key is having the information to recognize them.

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