How to Tell if Someone Is High: A Guide for Families and Loved Ones

Families, friends, and loved ones may need to comprehend the indications of drug inebriation for recognizing if someone is “high.” In this blog post, we will explore the various indicators of drug intoxication that may suggest a person is under the influence. Recognizing the signs of drug intoxication is crucial for the safety and well-being of your loved ones who may be secretly struggling with addiction.

Recognizing Signs of Cannabis Intoxication

Identifying indicators of cannabis intoxication is essential for protecting those in the vicinity. Here are some physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms to look out for:

Physical Signs:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Dry mouth or “cottonmouth”
  • Increased appetite or “munchies”

Behavioral Signs:

  • Giggling or laughing excessively without apparent reason
  • Altered coordination or motor skills, such as clumsiness or difficulty walking straight
  • Lethargy or drowsiness
  • Anxiety, especially in social situations
  • Talkativeness

Psychological Signs:

  • Euphoria: a sense of intense happiness and relaxation
  • A distorted perception of time, making minutes feel like hours
  • Impaired short-term memory, which may cause difficulties remembering recent events
  • Paranoia: irrational fear that others are watching them

If you notice any combination of these signs in someone close to you, approach the situation with care and understanding. If you are worried about the well-being of someone close to you, it is recommended that professional help be sought out, even if their cannabis use does not appear to be a problem. Check out this source for more information on available treatments for cannabis use disorders.

Identifying Symptoms of Stimulant Intoxication (e.g., Cocaine, Methamphetamine)

Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine can cause a range of physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms when someone is high. Knowing the symptoms can assist in ascertaining if your family member is utilizing substances.

Physical Signs:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased energy levels
  • Rapid speech patterns
  • Heightened alertness or agitation

Behavioral Signs:

  • Restlessness or hyperactivity
  • Increase in sociability or aggression

Psychological Signs:

  • Intense euphoria
  • Grandiosity

If you notice any combination of these symptoms in your loved one’s behavior and appearance, it could indicate stimulant intoxication. It’s important to approach the situation with care and seek professional guidance from healthcare professionals such as doctors or addiction specialists for a comprehensive assessment and assistance.

To learn more about the effects of stimulant use on individuals and their families, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.

Recognizing Signs of Depressant Intoxication (e.g., Alcohol, Benzodiazepines)

Identifying the physical signs of depressant intoxication is essential to maintain safety and ensure appropriate assistance. Knowing how to spot the signs of depressant intoxication is crucial for staying safe and getting the right help.

Physical Signs:

  • Slurred speech
  • Unsteady gait
  • Poor coordination
  • Slowed reflexes

Depressants affect the central nervous system, which causes these noticeable physical changes in users.

Behavioral Signs:

  • Sedation or drowsiness
  • Euphoria followed by relaxation
  • Impaired judgment
  • Decreased inhibitions

The behavioral effects of depressants can lead to risky decision-making or accidents due to impaired motor skills.

Psychological Signs:

  • Confusion
  • Memory impairment
  • Emotional lability (mood swings)

Depressants may bring about psychological alterations which could have an impact on someone’s emotional state and ability to remember.

Observing Symptoms of Opioid Intoxication (e.g., Fentanyl, Oxycodone)

Recognizing the symptoms of opioid intoxication is crucial for the safety and well-being of your loved ones. Here are some physical and behavioral signs to look out for:

Physical Signs:

  • Pinpoint pupils: Opioid use can cause constricted pupils.
  • Slowed breathing: Breathing may become shallow or slow down significantly.
  • Drowsiness: The person might appear excessively sleepy or have difficulty staying awake.
  • Nodding off: They may frequently nod off during conversations or activities due to drowsiness.

Behavioral Signs:

  • Decreased motor coordination: Movement may be unsteady, and balance could be impaired.
  • Lethargy: A general lack of energy and enthusiasm can indicate opioid use.

Opioid Overdose:

If you believe someone is suffering from opioid intoxication or an opioid overdose, call 911 immediately. Even a small dose of an opioid like fentanyl can be deadly. Medical attention should be sought without delay.

Recognizing Signs of Hallucinogen Intoxication

Hallucinogens are drugs that can alter perception and induce vivid hallucinations. To identify if someone is under the influence of these substances, it’s important to recognize the signs of intoxication.

Physical Signs

When someone consumes hallucinogenic drugs like LSD or psilocybin mushrooms, they may exhibit physical symptoms such as dilated pupils, sweating, increased heart rate, and tremors.

Behavioral Signs

Consuming hallucinogens can lead to a shift in one’s perception, potentially causing confusion or paranoia as well as vivid visuals and auditory experiences that are not real. This could manifest in confusion or paranoia as well as experiencing vivid visual or auditory hallucinations.

  • Vivid visual/auditory hallucinations: The person might see objects that aren’t there or hear sounds that don’t exist.
  • Confusion: They may struggle to make sense of their surroundings or have difficulty following conversations.
  • Paranoia: Suspicion and fearfulness towards others might be heightened during intoxication with these substances.

Psychological Signs

Hallucinogens can induce a wide range of psychological effects, from spiritual experiences and heightened emotions to introspection and altered self-awareness. It’s important to remember that everyone reacts differently to these substances; some individuals may experience euphoria while others could feel extreme anxiety during their trip.

If you suspect someone is intoxicated with a hallucinogen, it’s crucial to remain calm and supportive while seeking professional help if necessary. Comprehending the manifestations of inebriation can be an essential advance in guaranteeing their security and prosperity.

Checking for Drug Paraphernalia

Suspecting drug use in someone, it is essential to be aware of the typical paraphernalia associated with different drugs as a means to verify your suspicions and present evidence. Identifying these items can confirm your suspicions and provide evidence of drug use. Here are some examples of drug paraphernalia to look out for:

  • Cannabis: Pipes, bongs, rolling papers, grinders
  • Stimulants (Cocaine, Methamphetamine): Razor blades or cards for cutting lines, rolled-up bills or straws for snorting, glass pipes for smoking
  • Depressants (Alcohol, Benzodiazepines): Empty bottles or cans hidden away from plain sight; pill bottles without a prescription label.
  • Opioids (Heroin, Oxycodone, Fentanyl): Syringes/needles; burnt spoons; rubber tubing/tourniquets; aluminum foil, pill bottles.
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, Psilocybin Mushrooms): Small squares of blotter paper containing LSD; plastic bags containing mushrooms.

Aside from physical objects related to drug use, observing changes in behavior and appearance may also indicate substance abuse. If you find any suspicious items that could be considered drug paraphernalia, consider discussing your concerns with the person involved and seek professional advice from healthcare professionals specializing in addiction treatment. Remember, early intervention is crucial for helping your loved one overcome addiction and lead a healthier life.

Testing for Drugs

If you suspect someone is using drugs, confirm your suspicions with a home drug testing kit. Different formats of home drug testing kits, such as urine, saliva, and hair follicle tests are available for use. Each test has its pros and cons in terms of accuracy and detection timeframes.

Urine Tests

Urine drug testing is the most common method due to its affordability and ease of use. It can detect recent drug use within hours or days but may not be effective for detecting long-term usage.

Saliva Tests

Saliva-based drug tests offer non-invasive sample collection and can provide quick results. However, they typically have a shorter detection window compared to urine tests.

Hair Follicle Tests

Hair follicle testing can reveal substance abuse history over an extended period (up to several months). However, it tends to be more expensive than other methods and requires specialized lab processing.

Prioritize open communication with the individual before administering any home drug test. Discuss your concerns about their potential substance abuse openly while emphasizing that you care about their well-being. Keep in mind that although these at-home kits provide valuable information on recent or ongoing substance use patterns, consulting healthcare professionals remains essential for comprehensive assessment and assistance during this challenging time.

Educate Yourself

Learning about various substances and their effects on behavior, mood, and physical appearance is key to identifying drug intoxication. To recap:

Eyes reddened, coordination compromised, and a distorted sense of the passing of time can all be consequences of cannabis (marijuana) use.

Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine can lead to increased heart rate, dilated pupils, and erratic behavior.

Depressants such as alcohol and benzodiazepines can lead to slurred speech, impaired decision-making abilities, and decreased respiratory rate.

Opioids like heroin and oxycodone can result in constricted pupils, nodding off, and respiratory depression.

Pupils widening, altered sensation of reality, and visual/auditory illusions are common effects of hallucinogenic substances such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms.

Maintain Open Communication

Encouraging honest conversations about substance use without judgment or blame can help your loved one feel supported and understood. It’s important to listen actively and offer empathy, rather than criticism or anger. Remember that addiction is a disease, and your loved one needs your help and support to overcome it.

Offer Support

If your loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s important to offer support and help them find resources such as counseling services or rehabilitation centers. Be patient and compassionate as your loved one embarks on the journey of recovery, understanding that addiction is a treatable illness with the right support.

Identifying the signs of drug use can assist in addressing any potential issues concerning substance misuse among those close to you. Remember that addiction is a treatable disease, and with the right support and resources, recovery is possible.

What Now?

Recognizing signs of drug intoxication is crucial for personal safety and providing appropriate help. Each drug has unique physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms that can be observed in individuals under their influence.

Checking for drug paraphernalia and testing for drugs can also provide insight into potential substance abuse, so it’s important to be aware of these signs and take action when necessary.

By being vigilant and informed, we can help those struggling with addiction get the support they need to overcome their challenges. If you believe that someone near you is battling with substance misuse or addiction, it is advisable to seek advice from medical experts for a thorough evaluation and aid. New Life House offers structured sober living for young men in addiction recovery, providing support during this challenging time. Our community has stood strong for over 35 years. At New Life House, we incorporate a comprehensive approach toward sobriety by implementing peer accountability, clinical care, behavioral modification, and structured living regimens specifically tailored toward long-term recovery. Early intervention can make all the difference in helping your loved one overcome addiction and regain control of their life.

Last Updated on August 16, 2023


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