Recognizing Drug Use

The following describes some of the things you may see in a substance abuser. None of these symptoms alone mean the person is abusing drugs. But, if one or more of these symptoms is present, it should be a warning that things are not right and you should seek further help.

Physical Symptoms

  • Acting intoxicated (i.e., falling all over, really jumpy, or hyperactive)
  • Bloodshot or red droopy eyes
  • Drastic changes in speech patterns
  • New appetite for food (especially sweets)
  • Suddenly becoming lethargic and lazy
  • Suddenly neglecting personal appearance
  • Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Wearing sunglasses at inappropriate times

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Becoming very impatient
  • Drastic changes in friends and unwillingness to introduce new friends to the family
  • Drastic loss of interest in previously important things
  • Loss of ability to assume responsibility
  • Loss of motivation and enthusiasm
  • Problems concentrating and remembering
  • Shutting other people out of their life
  • Strong / inappropriate reaction to criticism or simple requests
  • Unexplained periods of moodiness, depression, or anxiety

Physical Evidence

  • Drug related books, magazines, or comics
  • Drugs in room or clothes
  • Paraphernalia, including cigarette rolling papers, pipes, roach clips, small spoons, straws, and razor blades
  • Strong incense or room deodorizers
  • Strong odors on clothes (burnt resin odor could be marijuana)
  • Unexplained money
  • Unfamiliar small containers or locked boxes

For More Information

If you have any questions, please contact the Aberdeen Police Department at 605-626-7000, or visit the D.A.R.E. national website.