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How to admit a family member to a drug treatment program
How to Admit a Family Member to a Drug Treatment Program ...

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How can I tell if my child or loved one is using drugs?

How can I tell if my child or loved one is using drugs?

How can I tell if my child or loved one is using drugs?

At first the symptoms may be subtle and therefore difficult to tell exactly what is causing the changes you are observing in your child or loved one. But there are symptoms you can look for. At first symptoms may go unnoticed because they may be subtle. But as drug use becomes more frequent and in larger amounts so does an increase in the irrational behavior that accompanies the use of mind altering drugs.

If someone you care about has one or more of the following symptoms of drug use, he or she may be under the influence of one or more drugs.

Emotional Symptoms

Loss of interest in activities, hobbies and other people that were once enjoyed. Apathy about things they used to feel strongly about. Defensiveness and extreme sensitivity not previously exhibited. Erratic moods, sudden or frequent mood changes. Someone who is usually pleasant and upbeat may become depressed and sullen. Someone who is normally quiet and calm may become hyper and easily excited. Unusual aggressiveness or quick to argue or lash out either verbally or physically.

Physical Symptoms

Marijuana - red eyes, reduced concentration, drowsiness, talkativeness, laughter, hunger, euphoria, unusual relaxation, disoriented behavior, and dramatic change in lifestyles.

Alcohol - intoxication, watery glazed eyes, mood swings, slurred speech, unsteady walk, and loss of appetite.

Cocaine - bright staring shiny eyes, excitation, euphoria, high pulse, higher blood pressure, restlessness, insomnia, appetite loss, dramatic mood change and runny nose.

Depressants - Constricted pupils, slow breathing and slurred speech.

Methamphetamine - dilated pupils, bright shiny eyes, excitation, alertness, talkative, increased pulse rate and blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, appetite loss, confusion, paranoia and sweating.

Opiates Opiates such as Heroin, Morphine and pain prescription medication like Oxycontin and Vicodin are central nervous system depressants which slow the functions of the brain and body. Often persons under the influence of Opiates will experience slurred speech, appear very tired and often fall in and out of sleep (nodding off), have a hard time standing or sitting straight, and appear extremely unbalanced and uncoordinated. Individuals under the influence of Opiates, opposite to stimulants, will seem far too relaxed and often oblivious to their surroundings without a care in the world. During the high of opiate use, individuals under the influence are in a trance or sleep like state, unable to function normally and find it very difficult to keep their eyes open during normal activities. Additional signs of opiate abuse can, again be found in the eye. Contrary to stimulant abuse, with opiate abuse the pupils appear to be extremely constricted to the point of looking like pins in the eye. This effect is often used to describe people high on Opiates as "pinned". The pupils are almost invisible due to their small size. Often, even in the brightest of lights, normal eyes do not constrict to the point they do in persons under the influence of opiates. Along with this dramatic change from normality, the other signs of opiate abuse are very clear. Thinking logically, there is no amount of fatigue that can mirror the extreme effects of opiate abuse, and when combined with the constricted pupils, a very clear picture can be presented to conclude abuse. Now these are not exclusive but only some of the main symptoms parents and other loved ones can pay attention to so they will be able to identify when something is wrong and help their kids and families.

If you need help for a loved one with a drug or Alcohol problem call toll free 1-855-DRUG-REHAB (1-855-378-4734).

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