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How to Tell If Someone Is High: Signs, Symptoms, and Support

junkie man smoking and laughing under influence of narcotic

Recognizing if someone is under the influence of drugs or experiencing intoxication can be a challenging task, but it’s essential to identify potential signs for their well-being and safety. Whether you suspect a loved one or a friend is high, understanding the typical indications of drug use can help you provide support and assistance. In this blog, we will explore how to tell if someone is high, the common signs and symptoms, and the importance of offering help without judgment.

Behavioral Changes

One of the first indicators of someone being high is unusual behavior. They may display extreme mood swings, ranging from euphoria and hyperactivity to lethargy and apathy. Sudden changes in energy levels, such as becoming overly talkative or uncharacteristically quiet, can also be observed. Pay attention to erratic movements, lack of coordination, or impaired motor skills.

Altered Physical Appearance

Physical appearance can provide clues about someone’s intoxication. Dilated or constricted pupils, bloodshot eyes, and frequent rubbing of the eyes may be noticeable signs. Additionally, look for changes in skin color, excessive sweating, or an unkempt appearance, as these may indicate drug use.

Changes in Speech

Observing changes in speech patterns can be an effective way to identify drug intoxication. Slurred speech, rapid and nonsensical talking, or a significant change in the person’s voice pitch are all possible indications of drug influence.

Emotional Instability

Individuals under the influence of drugs may exhibit heightened emotions or emotional instability. They may become overly emotional, sensitive, or easily agitated. Conversely, they might appear emotionally numb or detached from their surroundings.

Unusual Smells

Certain drugs produce distinctive smells that can be detected on a person’s breath or clothing. For example, marijuana may leave behind a strong, distinct scent, while the use of inhalants may produce a chemical-like odor.

Impaired Judgment and Decision-Making

People who are high often exhibit impaired judgment and decision-making abilities. They may engage in risky behaviors, act impulsively, or make choices they wouldn’t make under normal circumstances.

Social Isolation

Drug use can lead to withdrawal and social isolation. If someone suddenly withdraws from social activities or appears distant from their usual circle of friends, it may be a cause for concern.

Changes in Daily Routine

Noticeable disruptions in someone’s daily routine, such as neglecting responsibilities, work, or school, can indicate a problem with drug use.

Support and Help

If you suspect someone is high, it’s crucial to approach the situation with empathy and compassion. Avoid confrontation or judgmental attitudes, as these can push them away and hinder the possibility of seeking help.

Here are some steps you can take to support them:

  1. Initiate a Private Conversation: Find a suitable and private setting to talk to the individual calmly and without distractions. Express your concern for their well-being and emphasize that you are there to support them.
  2. Listen Non-Judgmentally: Allow the person to share their feelings and experiences without interrupting or passing judgment. Actively listen and validate their emotions.
  3. Offer Help and Resources: Encourage them to seek professional help or reach out to a counselor or support group. Provide information about available resources for addiction treatment in your area.
  4. Encourage Self-Care: Emphasize the importance of self-care and the benefits of leading a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
  5. Set Boundaries: While offering support, it’s essential to set boundaries to protect yourself and maintain a healthy relationship.

Identifying the signs of someone being high can be challenging, but with attentiveness and understanding, you can help them find the support they need. Remember, approaching the situation with empathy and offering a helping hand can make a significant difference in someone’s life, guiding them towards a path of recovery and wellness.

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