What Are Some Signs a Person is High on Drugs?

When a loved one uses drugs to get high, there is a change in their personality, physical appearance, and emotional state. Sometimes it is easy to notice, other times it is harder to spot because some people are good at covering things up. This can only go on for so long as a person who becomes increasingly addicted and dependent on drugs will eventually change enough that family and friends notice and wonder what is happening to their loved one. Learn some of the signs a person is high on drugs and how to find help.

The Brain

Drugs affect the brain in many ways, causing strange behavior and physical changes. The brain is a complex organ full of cells called neurons. Neurons send and receive messages which allow the body to coordinate and complete functions within the body. When drugs are introduced, they change the way the brain works by disrupting messages that are sent, received, and processed. Some drugs mimic chemicals in the brain, which activate neurons and send abnormal messages through the brain. Other drugs disrupt the balance of chemicals in the brain telling neurons to release chemicals like dopamine. Long-term drug use impact this part of the brain and affect daily functioning, including:

  • Socializing
  • Feeling pressure
  • Cognitive abilities
  • Planning
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Cognitive abilities
  • Feelings of pleasure
  • Self-control

Signs of Being High

When a loved one abuses drugs, they can exhibit some symptoms of being high. There are several different physical characteristics and behaviors to watch for. Some of the more common signs include various ones, depending on the drug:

  • Rapid, loud talking (marijuana)
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Hyperactivity (amphetamines)
  • Overly large pupils
  • Reduced appetite (amphetamines)
  • Violent behavior
  • Drowsiness (benzos)
  • Lack of coordination
  • Isolating from others
  • Excessive sweating (cocaine)
  • Angry outbursts
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Hearing or seeing things
  • Not taking care of personal hygiene
  • Loss of control over work, relationships, or finances
  • Legal trouble like stealing to support habit

Finding out a loved one may be abusing drugs can be a harrowing experiences as well as very alarming. Whether the drug use is one-time or a consistent habit, any type of drug use should be addressed right away. If a person chooses to talk to a loved one about their drug use, it is important to do it privately when they are thought to be sober. This conversation can also be so difficult a family member may want to contact an interventionist to come and support them when they confront the loved one. In any event, it is a difficult time, but hope is available. Rehab places are a great space to provide support for a person on drugs or drinking too much. They an offer healing and hope for recovery.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.