Drug Addiction : How to Tell if a Person is Using Cocaine
How to Tell if Someone Is High
Someone who is "high" is intoxicated with drugs. If you suspect someone is high, you can ask him directly, or you can look out for physical and behavioral signs. In many cases, a person who is high will recover, or "come down," on his own without any danger. In other cases, however, a high person might need help. Observing someone's high can help you determine if he is likely to need medical attention or assistance getting home safely. It is especially crucial to notice if someone has been drugged by someone else.
Checking for Physical Signs
Look into the person's eyes.Smoking a drug can cause red or watery eyes. Pupils that are constricted or dilated can be a sign of narcotics, stimulants, or club drugs. Check for rapid or unnecessary eye movements. Involuntary eye movements, or nystagmus, are symptomatic of many kinds of drug use.
- If someone is wearing sunglasses inside or in the shade, they might be trying to hide red or otherwise affected eyes.
Smell the person.Someone who has smoked marijuana might smell sweet, smoky, or skunky. A chemical or metallic smell might mean they inhaled a toxic household product, such as glue or paint thinner.
- A smell of incense, air freshener, or powerful perfume or cologne might be intended to cover up the smell of a drug that has been smoked.
Observe the person's mouth.Listen to his swallowing and observe the way it moves. Salivation and lip smacking can be signs of dry mouth, a sign of drug use. Licking of the lips, frequent clenching of the teeth or twisting of the jaw might mean that someone is high on club drugs.
Observe the person's nose.A bloody nose with no other apparent cause can mean that someone has snorted a drug, such as cocaine, meth, or a narcotic. A runny or congested nose can have many causes but combined with other symptoms it could signify that someone is high. Frequent rubbing of the nose can also be a sign.
- Someone who has snorted a drug might have powder on her nostrils or upper lip.
Observe the person's hands.Shaking hands can be a sign of club drugs, inhalants, or hallucinogens. Palm sweat can be a sign of intoxication. Burned fingertips can be a sign that crack cocaine was smoked.
Check the person's vital signs.Pulse, rate of respiration, temperature, and blood pressure can all be affected by drug use. If you feel safe touching the person in question, take his pulse and check his temperature. Cold, sweaty skin is one sign of drug use. An increase or decrease in blood pressure, an increased heart rate, or slowed breathing can all be signs of drug use.
- Some drugs can cause chest pain, and even heart attacks. Seek medical help for someone who seems to be experiencing pain in his chest.
Check for signs of habitual drug use.People who use drugs such as methamphetamine, bath salts, or heroin often inject their drugs, which leaves track marks. Check for darkened veins, lesions, and bruising around the veins. Lesions that are open and in the process of healing can be signs of recent drug use.
- Sores or a rash on the mouth or nose can also be a sign of habitual drug use.
Check for drug paraphernalia.While pipes, rolling papers, syringes and rubber tubing might be easily recognised as drug paraphernalia, the unwarranted presence of household objects can also indicate recent drug use. Bent spoons, eye droppers, and cotton balls may be indicative of narcotic use. Razors, handheld mirrors, and tiny spoons might indicate the use of stimulants. Pacifiers, candy necklaces, and lollipops may be used by people on club drugs, such as Ecstasy, that cause the jaw to clench.
Checking for Behavioral Signs
Listen to the person's speech.Someone who is high may speak too much or too quickly, or may have problems speaking. Someone who slurs words but does not smell like alcohol might be high.
- If the person you are speaking with appears to have difficulty concentrating or following the conversation, or if her thinking is unusually paranoid, deluded, or panicked, she might be high.
Observe the person's movements.A high person might react slowly, or might be nonreactive to surrounding people and things. If someone appears not to experience pain, he might be high. Physical coordination that seems to be rapidly deteriorating is a sign of drug use.
- Someone moving as if he is drunk, but without the smell of alcohol, is possibly high.
- A drunk person who seems to be unusually impaired might also have taken drugs or have been drugged.
Note unusual or shifting energy.Depending on the drug, a high person might be euphoric, relaxed, anxious and agitated, exhilarated, overconfident, or aggressive. Look for an unusual intensity of mood, or a quickly changing mood. If you know someone well, and she is behaving in an uncharacteristic way, that could be a sign of drug use.
- Sleeplessness and restlessness can be signs that someone is high, as can drowsiness. If you cannot rouse a "sleepy" person, she might have passed out and need medical attention.
Keep an eye out for unusual actions.If you know someone well, you can tell if he is exhibiting unusually high sociability, lack of inhibition, poor judgment, or an increased or decreased appetite or sex drive. Inappropriate laughter and intense snacking are common signs of marijuana use.
- Someone high on a harder drug might hallucinate, seeing or sensing things that are not there. Delirious, psychotic, or violent behavior all might be caused by drug use.
- Some drugged people appear to have undergone a total personality change.
QuestionHow do you tell if someone is high on weed?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCannabis causes a variety of observable physical and mental effects on the user, such as red eyes, dry mouth, slow movements, laughter, increase in appetite and food appreciation, and changes in speech, thought, and behaviour patterns. If these signs are present, it's possible that they're high on marijuana.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I think I am high right now, and it is scaring me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust calm down and breathe, maybe get some food or try to sleep or watch some TV. You'll be fine.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I confront my son who has smoked the pot? Should the SWAT team get involved?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe SWAT team will not come to your house to stop your son from smoking pot. You seem to be overreacting; the best thing to do is to calmly inform your son that you will not allow pot in your house. Let him know that if he does not respect your boundaries, you will take away things that matter to him, like his phone and video game systems.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I come down if I am high?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you're smoking weed, exercise, take a shower, or just go to sleep.Thanks!
QuestionDo you act stupidly when high on marijuana? How long does the high last?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSome people might act stupidly, but not everyone. Weed effects everyone differently. Normally a high from marijuana lasts for around 2 hours.Thanks!
QuestionWhen should I call an ambulance when someone is stoned?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf it's just marijuana, there's no need. If the person is experiencing paranoia, calm them down and tell them it's going to be over soon. There's generally no need to call an ambulance when someone is high unless there is something seriously physically wrong with them or they lose consciousness. Whatever alarming psychological symptoms they might have should go away by themselves in time.Thanks!
QuestionAre signs the same for both men and women?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, the signs will be the same for both men and women.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I deal with someone who is high?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake sure they are relaxed and let them know that they can take their time. They may often feel paranoid, so make sure they are calm. Never joke about cops, because it may cause the person more anxiety and/or an overreaction.Thanks!
QuestionDoes someone that is high have episodes of anger?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis can happen if the person is taking certain stimulants or if they are detoxing (by choice or because they are out of their drug), but I wouldn't take this to be evidence of drug use without any other signs. Consider it a potential red flag.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I hide being high?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPut in eye drops to reduce the red eyes, make sure you don't smell like smoke and make sure you can have a normal conversation with someone while high. Since none of these are easy to pull off, consider reducing the use of the drug well before you need to show you're not high.Thanks!
- No one symptom on its own is proof that someone is high. Look for combinations of symptoms to confirm that someone is high.
- Some mental and physical impairments can mimic the effects of drugs. Slurred speech, unusual movement, and shifting moods can all be caused by things other than drugs.
- If you are on good terms with someone, or if you he they needs your help, asking him what he took might be the most direct route to finding out if he is high.
- Confronting someone who is behaving erratically can be dangerous. Remove yourself from any situation with someone who is making you nervous.
- Seek emergency medical help if you have any other reason to suspect that someone has overdosed or is in need of physical or psychological help as a result of drug use.
- Intervene if you have reason to believe someone has been drugged. People who appear unusually drunk (such as extremely intoxicated after only one drink) and/or are being led somewhere by someone else might have been drugged with Rohypnol, or "roofie."Call an ambulance and/or the police or campus security.
- Seek emergency medical help if someone passes out, has trouble breathing, has a seizure or convulsions, or complains of chest pain or pressure.
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