How to tell if someone is using drugs


Pictures of items used | What to do

Physical signs

· Weight loss, pale face, circles under the eyes or red eyes, frequent use of eye drops

· Unexplained skin rashes, persistent cough, frequent colds

· Changes in sleeping or eating patterns

· Deterioration of personal hygiene

· Obvious intoxication

· Cuts or burns on the hands

· Discolouration of the fingers and hands

· Puncture marks from needles, on the hands, wrists, inner elbow joint with bruising

· Runny nose or nose bleeds

· Excessive sleeping


Changes in behaviour


· Increased need and use of money

· New friends, lying or secretiveness, mysterious phone calls

· Quitting or getting fired from jobs, problems attending work or school, a drop in performance

· Quitting hobbies or extra curricular activities

· Mood swings e.g. angry outbursts, sadness/depression or elation

· Verbal and or physical abuse of family

· Spending more time alone

· Theft and missing valuables, alcohol or medication


Items to look out for


· Alcohol or drugs in their possession

· Mouthwash, breath sprays or eye drops

· Thinners or glue

· Bank bags, rolling papers i.e. rizla’s, broken glass bottle tops, pipes, glass tubes, burned copper wire or goldilocks pot scourer, razor blades, mirrors, burned spoons, broken light bulbs

· Pieces of metal used for scratching pipes

· Incense burning, syringes or hypodermic needles.


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