Substance misuse is a widespread concern in today’s society. Approximately 50% of individuals aged 12 and above have experimented with illicit drugs at least once. Additionally, about 13% of those aged 11 and older have partaken in illicit drug use in the last month. The prolonged use of prohibited substances often leads to the development of drug addiction. Given the detrimental effects associated with illicit substance use, individuals frequently strive to conceal their drug habits.
However, this does not imply that identifying someone using illicit substances is an insurmountable challenge. While certain effects are specific to different illicit drugs, commonalities exist across various types. Here are five discreet indicators of drug use that one might notice.
In specific scenarios, substance use can result in individuals neglecting their responsibilities. This neglect might be evident in diminished performance at work or school, including absenteeism or an incapacity to handle tasks at home.
The reasons behind this negligence can vary. At times, the effects of the illicit substance can hinder a person’s ability to concentrate on tasks. Drug use may also lead to difficulties in remembering crucial obligations. Occasionally, the neglect is intentional, with individuals deliberately sidestepping their responsibilities in favor of other activities, potentially prioritizing their drug use.
Various behavioral changes can also act as indicators of drug use. A sudden and significant shift in social activities, such as alterations in frequented places and associations with different people, might be telling. Similarly, withdrawing from previously cherished hobbies signals a behavioral change that could suggest a potential issue with drug use.
Diverse shifts in mood or attitude are often linked to drug use. Experiencing irritability or complacency can serve as indicators. Likewise, mood swings that deviate from the usual behavior may raise concerns.
A sudden surge in the desire for privacy or engaging in secretive and suspicious behavior could also be potential signs. If these behaviors are accompanied by defensiveness or evasiveness when questioned, it becomes an even more significant red flag.
Even if a person consistently attends school or fulfills their work shifts, a notable decline in performance could signal a potential drug problem. Similarly, a sudden shift in engagement levels may indicate issues related to drug use. The same applies to persistent lateness in an individual who previously did not struggle with punctuality.
When an individual is using drugs, they may distance themselves from their regular social circle as a way of concealing their activities. These changes in relationships can involve reduced time spent with family members, romantic partners, or friends. Furthermore, they might begin associating with a new social circle, often including individuals engaged in drug use.
Substance use can result in various alterations to a person’s physical appearance. They might appear disheveled or neglectful of hygiene, potentially resulting in unpleasant odors. In certain instances, individuals may show disinterest in grooming, giving them a less polished appearance. Bloodshot eyes or pupils that don’t correspond to lighting conditions can also be observed.
Certain substances, particularly those that are smoked, can emit distinct odors during consumption, and these smells may persist on hair and clothing. Additionally, changes in appetite induced by drugs can lead to rapid weight fluctuations.
In certain cases, there might be a noticeable alteration in the appearance of teeth, affecting both color and condition. Finally, the use of specific drugs may contribute to the development of habits such as skin picking, resulting in the presence of scratches, raw spots, or scabs.