Signs of Abuse

What to Look For 

Recognising the signs of drug abuse is crucial for early intervention and support. If you're concerned about someone using drugs, being aware of these signs can help you make informed decisions and provide the necessary help. Here are some common indicators to watch out for: 

Physical Changes 

    • Red or Glassy Eyes: Constant eye redness or glassiness can indicate drug use. 
    • Tobacco Smell: A lingering smell of tobacco may be a sign of smoking-related substance abuse. 
    • Neglect of Personal Hygiene and Appearance: A sudden disregard for grooming and cleanliness. 
    • Weight Fluctuations: Noticeable weight loss or sudden food cravings (munchies) could be a red flag. 
    • Abrasions and Sores: Unexplained injuries or skin issues. 

Behavioural Signs 
  • Mood Swings and Depression: Frequent emotional changes, including irritability and depressive moods. 
  • Slurred Speech: Difficulty in speaking clearly. 
  • Insomnia or Inappropriate Napping: Trouble sleeping at night or sleeping at odd times. 
  • Abusive and Deceptive Behaviour: Exhibiting aggression or dishonesty. 
  • Apathy and Lack of Motivation: Showing little interest in activities once enjoyed. 
  • Unexplained Absence: Frequently missing from work, school, or home. 
  • Avoidance of Social Interaction: Withdrawing from family and friends, avoiding social activities. 
  • Change in Friends: Associating with a new, possibly questionable circle of friends. 

Cognitive and Psychological Signs 
  • Paranoia: Exhibiting suspicious or irrational thoughts. 
  • Short-Term Memory Loss: Difficulty remembering recent events. 
  • Inability to Concentrate: Struggling to focus on tasks. 
  • Manipulative Behaviour: Acting self-centred or manipulative to achieve goals. 

Other Indicators 
  • Possession of Unexplained Valuables: Having items of value without a clear source. 
  • Grades Drop: Declining academic performance. 
  • Truancy: Skipping school or work without valid reasons. 


If you're concerned about drug abuse, being vigilant and recognising these signs can help you take steps to address potential issues and support those in need. If you suspect someone is struggling with drug abuse, consider seeking professional help to ensure they receive the proper care and intervention.