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The Road to Addiction   PDF  Print  Email 

The Road to Addiction

Identifying if a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol is the first step in getting them to recovery. It is not always easy to be sure.

People on drugs tend to lie about their usage. Using a home drug testing kit can be difficult and embarrassing.

Products can be purchased through the internet, that obscure positive results. Yet, the life of a friend or a family member may utterly depend on you correctly identifying their drug or alcohol abuse.

Once the problem is out in the open, it can be addressed.

Signs of drug abuse are listed below for most drugs abused in our society today.

Read them through:

NOTE: Call right away if you are now certain that a loved one is on drugs or alcohol and may be on the road to drug addiction, don't wait any longer!

Call us right away at 1-888-774-2345.

Don't let drug or alcohol abuse go undetected and unhandled. It can be deadly.


A person on an opiate such as heroin or morphine will have constricted pupils that will look like pinpoints or small dots.

Someone on opiates usually itches and you can see the person lightly and frequently scratching himself.

If the method of ingestion is sniffing, his nostrils may appear raw and red.

If the method of ingestion is by injection there will be needle marks in arms, behind the knees or ankles.

Heroin users have been known to inject themselves under the tongue, or directly into open sores. These locations are not as easy to detect.

They may get very pale and sweaty or extremely thirsty.

Opiates affect people in different ways: some may get very "hyper" (active or frantic) and run around working or looking busy while others get very lethargic (nodding or doping off). The person may go around asking others for money. This will not be small change for cigarettes, but more like $20 or $40 here or there.

Cocaine, Crack and Amphetamines

A person on cocaine or speed will usually have glassy eyes and very, very large pupils. He may try to hide this condition by constantly wearing sunglasses or other dark glasses.

His behavior will be erratic. He cannot relax or confront and is restless.

One will observe uncharacteristic activity, irritability, nervousness or aggression.

Remember, stimulants speed up the body's functions and the person may have trouble sitting still, remaining inactive or controlling his or her temper. For this reason, there may be long periods without sleeping.

The body, quickened by the chemicals, avoids sleep for extended periods of time. The person may exhibit this tendency of insomnia and then "crash" and sleep for similarly long periods of time.

The person will tend to move fast and ramble or be non sequitur in his conversation-jumping from one topic to another.

He or she will also experience "cotton mouth" and may drink inordinate amounts of water to satiate thirst and constantly be licking his lips. He may constantly be sniffing despite the lack of a cold or allergies.

The person might exhibit unexplainable changes in appetite or weight. Stimulants diminish the user's appetite (which is why they are found in diet pills.) One might see a sudden lack of interest in food.

If the person is injecting cocaine or stimulants you will probably be able to see fresh needle marks. He might try to hide these by wearing long-sleeved shirts, even in hot weather.

Aside from the physical signs of abuse, a person may show other signs by often borrowing money in odd increments (like $20, $30, $40). Other signs may be overuse of the person, or significant other's ATM card - like financial transactions taking place a few hours apart, several times per day - this pattern might be carried on through the night until the following morning.

Cannabis, Marijuana and Hash

People on marijuana, pot, hash or hash oil will have irritated eyes.

They may be bloodshot or appear to have a dazed or expressionless appearance and will also experience dry lips and "cotton mouth."

They can walk around in a daze or euphoric stupor, staring out into space or at nothing, and may go into fits of laughter or laugh when there is nothing to laugh about.

Marijuana has a strong, pungent, virtually unmistakable odor. It's long
lasting and difficult to mask.

This is a telltale sign that a person has either smoked marijuana or it has
been smoked in his or her presence.

The person may attempt to eliminate this sign by putting clothes in the wash immediately upon coming home or taking a quick shower before being around other people.

LSD and Hallucinogens

A person who has taken LSD or other psychedelics will manifest glassy eyes and have a blank, vacant stare.

Often he appears to be daydreaming and needs to be spoken to several times before responding.

He will be found to have inappropriate and extended interest in common objects.

For example, examining an ashtray or a drawing for a long time, turning it, viewing it from different angles.

The person may also have a similar interest in body parts, such as a finger, hand or food. Conversation tends to be esoteric, like a "head trip." He will hallucinate.

He will experience anxiety for no apparent reason. PCP users may experience sweating episodes, salivate heavily and have flushed skin. They may have dilated pupils and may be inexplicably high-strung.


A person under the influence of depressants such as barbiturates or Valium may act intoxicated (slurred speech, stumbling gait, droopy eyes, etc).

Depressants slow down the body's functions, which may prompt unwarranted sleep episodes.

There will be a pronounced tendency to fall asleep in unusual situations such as at dinner and the person will show signs of overall listlessness.


An inhalant abuser may leave evidence of paint or glue on his face.

He will have a runny nose and eyes and inappropriate drowsiness.

The odor of the substance that he inhaled will be on his clothes or his body.

They might try to not give themselves away by attempting to walk slowly and straight, but this effort is very obvious.


Alcohol can be detected on the breath. A user may attempt to mask it with extraordinary use of mints, mouthwash or even garlic.

Speech will be slurred. Watch for drawn-out speech and rambling, sometimes illogical talk.

Symptomatic of alcohol abuse are headaches and nausea.

Watch for telltale signs of hangover, disinterest in breakfast, late sleeping and an overall grouchiness throughout the day.

In all instances of substance abuse, watch for a tendency on the part of the abuser to refrain from and shun conversation and face-to-face meetings with others.

You are watching for behavior that represents a somewhat dramatic change in character from previous experience.

Whether it's drug addiction or alcoholism we can help you. We have over 30 years of handling hard core addiction.

We offer the highest success rate for treatment for Crack Addiction, Cocaine Addiction; Amphetamine Addiction, Alcohol Addiction, Methadone Addiction, Heroin Addiction, and addictions to designer drugs such as Exctasy.

Success Stories

Meet Beth Elrod:

Today I am filled with joy over the accomplishments I have made during my stay at Narconon. I'm so happy to be free from the bondage of drug addiction.

The last 9 years of my life have been in torment due to my drug addictions.

During that time, I have lost many things that were dear to me including friends, the respect of my family, and most recently I almost lost my boyfriend.

I've had to endure a lifestyle that was full of depression, headache, danger, criticism, embarrassment, lying, cheating and stealing.

Things got so bad that my family could hardly endure the pain any longer.

They prayed diligently everyday for an answer to my drug problem. Our prayers opened a door to Narconon.

My parents were told by their next door neighbors about this program. The very day that everyone had reached the end of their rope, we regained our hope.

My dad called Narconon and 6 hours later, I was checking in. My dad and boyfriend brought me here and on the way we were overwhelmed with hope.

The three months that I was a student in this program, completely changed my life.

Through sauna I have gotten into great physical shape and my cravings were greatly reduced.

I grew emotionally and spiritually through the rest of the program and by the end my cravings had ceased.

I feel healthier than I have ever felt in my life and I finally know how to love my parents and boyfriend the way they have loved me.

My recommendation to everyone who has a drug problem is to participate in this wonderful program - let it work for you, be strong, have faith, endure and change your life forever.

I am now training to be a successful staff member here at Narconon of Georgia so I can help others have what I now have.

CALL TOLL FREE: 1-888-774-2345

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