Narcotic Unit - Drug Abuse Signs

Substance Abuse Warning Signs
Substance abuse of any kind is dangerous. Persons of all ages can quickly, or over a period of time, become victims of their own negative behavior. Substance abuse becomes substance dependence. A person's choice of abused substance is often determined by age, economics, social or ethnic group, peer pressure and other personal and societal factors.

Remember: Some of the signs of abuse listed below may signify normal behavior variability or health problems. Signs are not proof. Conclusions should be based on facts, not on assumptions.

We hope this information will help you to recognize persons abusing substances so that they can be helped. In situations where signs and symptoms seem obvious, it is advisable to bring your observations to the attention of an appropriate person such as school nurse or counselor, family member, employee assistance or personnel liaison or the primary care physician.

A word for parents: Be very frank but not accusatory in discussing and questioning adolescents about suspected substance abuse. If you are unsure as to how to do this, consult with a local treatment professional, licensed by the state.


Signs Of Hallucinagen Abuse (LSD aka Acid)
Appearance sometimes similar to a drunken stupor.
  1. Dazed appearance
  2. Disoriented
  3. Difficulty speaking
  4. Paranoia
  5. Perspiring
  6. Impaired Time and Depth perception
  7. Uncoordinated
  8. Memory Loss
  9. Sensory Perception Alteration



Signs Of Depressant Abuse (Pain Medication)
  1. Sensory alteration
  2. Anxiety reduction
  3. Intoxication
  4. Muscles relaxed
  5. Slurred speech
  6. Impaired judgment

  7. Decreased heart / respiratory rates
  8. Slow Breathing
  9. Sweating
  10. Drowsiness
  11. Decreased alertness
  12. Headaches
  13. Itchiness

  14. Loss of motor coordination
  15. Respiratory depression
  16. Coma
  17. Death



Signs Of Stimulant Abuse (Methamphetamine or Cocaine)
  1. Increased heart / respiratory rates
  2. Elevated blood pressure
  3. Dilated pupils
  4. Decreased appetite
  5. Irregular heartbeat
  6. Loss of coordination
  7. Blurred vision

  8. Dizziness
  9. Restlessness
  10. Anxiety
  11. Hallucinations
  12. Convulsions
  13. Agitation
  14. Disorientation
  15. Heart/ Respiratory failure
  16. Death



Signs Of Marijuana Abuse
  1. Odor of marijuana
  2. Accelerated heart rate/blood pressure
  3. Increased appetite
  4. Relaxed inhibitions
  5. Mood swings from talkativeness to silence
  6. Onset of anxiety and panic attacks
  7. Reddening of eyes
  8. Dilated pupils
  9. Reduced ability to concentrate
  10. Impaired short term memory