Have you recently been out with a friend and thought he or she acted a little “off?” If so, you might have attributed it to your friend having a bad day, or maybe an extremely good day. But, what if there’s another reason. Would you be able to tell if your friend is high? Sometimes, it’s difficult unless you know the signs. Depending on the circumstances, your friend could be putting you and others in danger, not to mention the harm they’re causing themselves. Is your friend high? Here are some things to look for.
Is Your Friend High? Watch for These Signs
Many drug abusers excel at hiding their secret from friends and family. When a loved one dies from an overdose, families are often caught off guard because they had no idea the person was using. For that reason, and more, it’s good to know the signs of drug use. This knowledge could save a life.
Here are some of the most common indicators that a person is using drugs or alcohol:
- Disorientation – When someone is high or euphoric, they seem to be unaware of their surroundings. They may find it difficult to follow conversations.
- Unusual Actions – Acting out of character is another sign of drug use. A usually calm, quiet person can become extremely outgoing or aggressive.
- Agitation – A person can become easily agitated when drugs are in their system. They’ll seem nervous, irritable, and appear to be jumpy or easily angered.
- Unexplained Injuries – Such things as a bloody nose, burn marks on the fingers and lips, or unusual bruising can all be signs of drug use. Snorting drugs causes a bloody nose and hot glass pipes used for smoking drugs can cause burns.
- Breathing Issues – Many drugs, such as opiates, suppress the central nervous system. This effect can cause breathing to slow dramatically and become life-threatening. Shallow breathing is an indication of an overdose in many cases.
- Odd Smells – Does your friend smell skunky, sweet, or smoky? These odors are often a sign of marijuana use. Many people try to mask the smells of marijuana or alcohol by burning incense, spraying air fresheners, or using strong mouthwash.
Other signs to look for include excessive sweating or chills that are inconsistent with the environment, bloodshot eyes, and a runny nose. Is your friend high? If he or she is continuously rubbing their nose or wearing sunglasses indoors, the answer could be yes, your friend is high or has been high recently or is getting ready to be.
Hopefully, if your friend displays any of the above, there is another reason for the symptoms besides substance abuse. However, everyone should be aware of the signs of drug use for their own safety as well as their friend’s.
What Can Happen After Prolonged Substance Abuse and Addiction
If it turns out that your friend is using drugs or alcohol, the signs listed above can progress into severe issues over time. Here are some of the behavioral and physical warning signs of drug abuse and addiction:
Behavioral Warning Signs of Drug Abuse
- Relationship problems
- Suspicious or secretive behaviors
- Neglecting responsibilities such as work, school, home, children.
- A new group of friends, new hangouts
- Unwanted pregnancy, STDs
- Always needing extra money, lying, stealing.
- Getting into legal trouble from drug-related fights, accidents, activities
Behavioral Warning Signs of Addiction
- Continues using to ease the withdrawal symptoms
- Using more than intended and unable to stop
- The substance becomes the most important thing in life
- Disinterest or abandonment of hobbies, sports, or socializing
- Continued use despite negative consequences
- Changes in personality or attitude, sudden mood swings
Physical Signs of Drug Abuse
- Bloodshot eyes and dilated or pinpointed pupils
- Sniffling, runny nose
- Weight gain or loss
- Lack of interest in personal hygiene
- Slurred speech, tremors, poor coordination
- Strange odors on clothing or the breath
Physical Signs of Addiction
- Increased tolerance, needing more to get the desired results
- Intense cravings when the drug is withheld
- Poor appetite, nausea, vomiting
- Muscle and joint aches or pain
- Thinning, dry, brittle hair
- Sallow, wrinkled skin
- Deteriorating health, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, heart disease
It’s not hard to cross the fine line between substance abuse and addiction. Is your friend high too often?” Resolve to help them get help before they become another statistic in the nation’s increasing drug-related death toll. Did you know that more than 28.6 million people over the age of 12 in America use illicit drugs, according to SAMHSA?
Where to Get Answers About Helping Your Friend
If your friend or someone else you know and love has a problem with drug abuse, contact us today. We will be happy to answer your questions and recommend a treatment program that is best for their needs.
ihs.gov – Warning Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction
samhsa.gov – Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
samhsa.gov – Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the US