Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use

How do you know if someone is using drugs, and why is it important to know? It’s not just the harm can be done to family and friends if an addict is using, there can actually be liability issues if he or she is impaired by drugs while at work. The DOT mandates rigorous drug testing for persons involved in the transportation industry, but any workplace can be adversely affected by drugs.

If you’re a supervisor who is responsible for ensuring a drug-free workplace, a Non-DOT Supervisor Signs & Symptoms Training Course – Drugs & Alcohol can help you to do your job more effectively. If you’re not a supervisor, taking the course might help you earn the position. In the meantime, here are some of the signs and symptoms of drug use as identified by Narconon.

Every illegal drug has different effects, but virtually all drugs will cause:

  • Changes in eye appearance (redness or glassiness)
  • Sudden behavior changes and mood swings
  • Lack of interest in personal grooming
  • Loss of interest in sports, hobbies, and other activities
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

Effects of Individual Drugs

Marijuana: Red eyes, giggling, compulsive eating, strong odor, forgetfulness and short term memory loss, poor motor skills, lack of motivation.

Methamphetamine: No appetite, significant weight loss, sleeplessness that can go on for days or even weeks, nervousness, sweating, loss of control, depression, hallucinations, violence or other aggression, dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, mood changes.

Cocaine: Restlessness, confusion, anxiety, panic, dilated pupil, suspiciousness, itching, hallucinations, depression, paranoia, loss of appetite, gregariousness, a decrease in sex drive.

Ecstasy: Altered perception of light, sound and touch, changes in physical and mental stimulation, lowered appetite, raised body temperature, heightened emotional response, muscle cramping, chills, sweating, nausea, teeth clenching.

PCP: Violence, bizarre behavior, fearfulness or anxiety, paranoia, aggression, withdrawal, dizziness, skin flushing, impaired perception, numbness, suicide.

LSD: Dilated pupils, poor coordination, skin discoloration, temporal and spatial distortion, false sense of power, nausea, vomiting, paranoia, confusion, hallucinations, panic, anxiety, feeling of helplessness, self-destructiveness.

Heroin: Euphoria, nodding, drifting off for brief periods or for hours, dreaminess, powerlessness, possible stimulant effect in long-term users.

Inhalants: Brief euphoria, silliness, giggling, dizziness, headaches, faintness, unconsciousness. In long-term users, short-term memory loss, impaired reasoning, eye fluttering, tremors, staggering gait, slurred speech, loss of hearing and sense of smell, brain atrophy. Long-term effects can be reversed sometimes with nutritional therapy and detoxification, but often the effects are only partially reversible, or irreversible.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of recreational drugs, nor is it a full list of side effects, which can vary from person to person and may depend on the frequency of use or level of addiction. As recreational drug use in the workplace continues to be a problem, there will always be people needed to identify drug users and attempt to get them the help that they need in order to stop endangering themselves and others through the use of illicit substances.



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