The Effects of Drugs on The Eyes - Banyan Treatment Center

The Effects of Drugs on The Eyes

The Effects of Drugs on The Eyes

The Effects of Drugs on the Eyes

While drugs can have a noticeable impact on a person’s health, their physical appearance can also be affected.

While meth may lead to unsightly sores, other drugs may have more subtle changes. You just need to know what to look for.

Illicit Drug Effects on Eyes

Some people say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Whether or not this true, the eyes may give away some secrets. If you suspect that your loved one is abusing drugs, you may be able to tell just by looking at their eyes. In fact, there are several effects that drugs can have on your eyes, it largely just depends on the drug.


Opiates can include everything from heroin to prescription painkillers, but the effects of these drugs on the eyes are similar. Most people who abuse these drugs or take them in high amounts will have pinpoint pupils that can last for several hours. Long-term intravenous abuse may even lead to blood clots in the eyes.1


Cocaine use often causes dilated pupils. With continued abuse and in high concentrations, it may also lead to nearsightedness, bulging on the eyes, and retraction of the eyelid.1


A stimulant, meth will also often lead to dilated pupils. When snorted, methamphetamine can also cause crystalline deposits in the retina that can lead to vision problems.1 A meth detox could save your loved one from these vision problems before it is too late.


Along with the smell, a good indication that someone may be high on marijuana is the changes in their eyes. Marijuana use usually leads to red, bloodshot eyes as well as dilated pupils.


Changes in the eyes after using drugs that contain nicotine may include redness and irritation. Along with these noticeable effects of this drug on the eyes, long-term nicotine use may also lead to dry eyes, problems with the tear film, and increased risk of cataract.1


The noticeable effects of drugs on the eyes extend to alcohol as well. Someone who has been drinking in excess will often have eyes that have dilated pupils and delayed reaction times. They may even have twitching eyelids.1 The person under the influence may also experience blurred or impaired vision that could lead to a serious injury or accident. It is best to get your loved one into an alcohol detox center before this happens.

Although illicit drugs are not known for the serious eye damage, they may cause lasting effects. Pay attention to your loved one’s eye. If they are frequently exhibiting any of these effects, they may have an addiction. Our Boca detox center could help them quit their substance abuse for good before their problems escalate.

Whether your loved one needs help, or you struggle with your own substance abuse problems, we want to be there for you. Our Boca behavioral health center helps people with both substance abuse and mental health disorders move past their problems and work toward a brighter future.

To learn more about the programs we offer, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Call today at 888-280-4763.


  1. NCBI - Illicit drugs: Effects on eye

Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.