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Subtle Signs of Drug Abuse in Your Loved One

Subtle Signs of Drug Abuse in Your Loved One

Subtle Signs of Drug Abuse in Your Loved One

When someone you care about starts acting strange, it is natural to be concerned.

You want to make sure they are okay without jumping to conclusions. Unfortunately, drug abuse could be the culprit, but it can be hard to know for sure.

The First Signs that Someone Is Abusing Drugs

As a substance abuse treatment center in Boca, we are sharing some of the more subtle signs of drug abuse so that you can recognize when someone you care about is using drugs sooner rather than later and get them help.

Decline in Personal Appearance

If their physical appearance starts to slowly decline, it may be a sign of a drug problem. Many addicts and frequent drug users will begin to neglect their regular grooming in favor of getting high. The result may be yellower teeth, uncombed hair, and blemished clothing.

Lying or Secretive Behavior

Drug users and addicts lie for several reasons. If you catch this person in a lie or several lies, it may be because they are trying to cover up their drug use. Another red flag is if they suddenly become more secretive and are no longer open with you.

Becoming Withdrawn

Whether they are trying to hide their drug habits, or they have found a new crowd to get high with, many drug users and addicts will start to isolate themselves from their regular friend group. Frequent drug use can also lead to depression and isolation. If this becomes a habit, it could be a sign of drug addiction.

Abnormal Sleeping or Eating Habits

Drug abuse can affect both a person’s sleep routine as well as their appetite. When your loved one’s eating and sleeping routines become noticeably unusual, it could be a sign of illicit drug use.


Drugs like marijuana can give off a strong smell. Check your loved one’s breath, room, clothes, and car for these odors. Also, be on the lookout for overwhelming cleaning smells from products that may have been used to try and cover up the odors from the drugs.


When someone is on drugs, their eyes may change. If you notice that your loved one’s eyes are frequently red or glossy with abnormal pupil sizes, they may be on drugs.

Covering Up Their Body

Intravenous drug users may have needle tracks, bruises, or marks where they inject drugs. If the person you are concerned about starts wearing long sleeves or pants, even in warm weather, it may be because they are trying to hide these marks.

What to Do If Your Loved One Is Showing Signs of a Drug Problem

Whether it is your moody teenager or your best friend, if someone you care about is showing signs of drug abuse, you want to get them help. There is a fine line between drug use and addiction, and the longer you wait to get them help, the more likely they are to cross this line. Once an addiction develops, it becomes harder to quit and the user often needs the intervention of a professional drug detox and treatment program to stop. On top of addiction, even occasional drug use can lead to health problems, legal trouble, and even overdose.

Instead of sitting idly by and watching someone you care about misuse drugs, do something about it. Try to talk to them and get them help. If they have an addiction but are hesitant to get help, our drug intervention specialists in Boca may be able to help you get into treatment.

If your loved one is showing signs of drug abuse, get them help immediately. Call Banyan Boca today at 888-280-4763 to speak with an admissions specialist and learn more.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Subtle Signs of Drug Abuse in Your Loved One
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