How to know if someone is on drugs is not always clear-cut and straightforward, and some addicts are better than others at hiding signs of abuse. Since it is critical to intervene with a drug addict, it is imperative that you remain aware of the signs that someone you love is abusing drugs. Below is a list of what to look out for.


Disinterest in activities

If you notice a sudden disinterest in activities that used to be enjoyed often, there might be a substance abuse problem at hand.

Increased need for privacy

Drug abusers are known to recluse themselves and to need to be alone. Watch out for closed doors, locked rooms, requests for isolation and over-protectiveness of the phone.

Changes in relationships

Dramatic changes in romantic and social relationships tend to accompany drug abuse.

Changes in appetite

The appetite of a drug abuser often goes away and their weight might change, too.

Poor performance at work or school

A common sign of drug abuse is a slipping and newly steady poor performance at work or at school.

Chronic tardiness to work

Is your loved one repeatedly late to work? Ask yourself what is keeping them up too late or sleeping in too long. In many cases, it is drug abuse.

Defensive about drug use

Being defensive about substance abuse is the biggest sign that there is a problem.

Poor financial responsibility

Drug abusers are likely missing bills, mishandling money and finding their pockets empty.

Noticeable lack of energy

Drug abuse most often comes with a chronic appearance of being run-down as well as a noticeable behavior change of no energy.

how to know if someone is on drugs

Change in appearance

Many addicts will begin to change their appearance, whether on purpose or as a byproduct of losing interest in self-care.


How to tell if someone is on drugs by looking at them?

Lack of grooming

Watch out for an appearance of obvious hygiene neglect, dirty clothes or dirty body parts. Drug abusers are likely to not pay attention to grooming.

Tired looking

Drug abusers will look tired in their face, in their posture and in their body movements.


The eyes are often a giveaway for drug use and abuse. Pay close attention to the varying appearances of your loved one’s eyes so you can detect if there is a problem with abusing drugs.


How to tell if someone is on drugs by their eyes

The signs of drug abusers eyes will range from looking bloodshot to glazed, to tired or dilated. The type of drug a person is taking affects how their body responds and consequently, how their eyes appear. Below are common eye effects associated with certain drugs.

how to tell if someone is on drugs by their eyes


Marijuana use is associated with bloodshot eyes and droopy eyelids.


Stimulant abusers might have dilated pupils.


Benzodiazepines are depressants used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Abusers of these CNS depressants might have involuntary eye movements and appear dizzy, depressed or unable to balance.


Help your loved one recovery from drugs

Drug addiction is serious at every stage of life. If you suspect that someone you love has a problem with drugs, begin to investigate the situation immediately. Reach out to our team at United Recovery Project to learn more about detecting early signs of abuse and about the different resources and programs we have available to help recover from drug addiction.