Skip to main content

Signs My Loved One is Using Drugs

People often ask themselves “What are signs my loved one is using drugs?” and this is a valid question. Being aware of what could be indicative of drug use could lead to early intervention and prevent havoc and upheaval in their lives.

These signs can also lead to those in the grips of addiction receiving much-needed and very beneficial help to overcome their struggles. Recognizing the potential drug abuse in loved ones can be a catalyst to them starting on a path to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Signs A Loved One Is Abusing Drugs

Those asking themselves about potential “signs my loved one is using drugs” should be able to identify these signs for different substances. This capability can help to not only identify potential drug abuse in those they love, but also help with identification of what, potentially, is being used.

Drugs affect the brain negatively and result in changes in personality as well as behavior. The physical effects of drugs can affect the brain, CNS, and other vital organs. Preventing permanent damage is just as important as helping loved ones overcome their addiction.


Those who abuse opioids like heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers often exhibit certain behaviors and personality changes.

Behaviorally, they could begin to withdraw from family and friends, avoid enjoyable activities, and spend more time seeking the drug than not. When the drug is not available, they could potentially begin to experience withdrawal symptoms and become agitated and aggressive. 


Stimulants are drugs that produce an exaggerated sense of confidence, higher levels of energy, and lack of concentration. Stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines could cause drastic changes in the way someone thinks and speaks, helping those asking themselves about “signs my loved one is using drugs” identify the drug use easier.

Behavioral changes can include the inability to sit still, speaking fast, or making little sense, hyperactivity,  and an inflated sense of self-confidence.


Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a class of drug used to treat and manage legitimate health conditions. Anxiety, panic disorders, and seizure disorders often call for the use of benzos such as Xanax to be prescribed for treatment.

These drugs are CNS depressants, meaning they suppress the central nervous system and result in visible changes in the individual. They could begin falling in and out of consciousness (nodding out), have slow motor movements, slowed or slurred speech, and have shallow breathing. 


Much like benzos and opioids, marijuana also produces effects that can lead to exhibiting slowed motor movements, speech, and thinking.

Marijuana is also one of the few drugs that have a distinctive odor. Another sign of of marijuana abuse is smelling it while smoking, or on someone after smoking. 

Changes in Behavior Patterns

As previously stated, drug abuse often leads to exhibiting behavioral changes. For example, those abusing stimulants have a hard time sitting still, or focusing on activities. They may begin requiring less sleep to function, and then crash where they sleep for longer amounts of time.

For example, with alcohol, they may begin drinking more heavily, more often, or at inappropriate times. They also may begin engaging in risky behaviors such as drinking and driving. Those who abuse opioids often have drastic and unprovoked mood swings.

Additionally, they could begin becoming aggressive, begin stealing and lying, and withdrawing from family and friends. Alcohol withdrawal can also create symptoms of anxiety, depression and irritability.

The Pain in Discovering a Loved One is Using

When those asking themselves about “signs my loved one is using drugs” find themselves with the grim reality that their loved one is struggling, it can be a daunting realization. Knowing someone they love is going through this struggle is hard on them.

The desire to help them, or save them, could take over. Chances are their loved one doesn’t see the problem themselves. This makes it that much harder. It is highly suggested for these individuals to get support for themselves in these situations.

Finding Drug Paraphernalia

Finding drug paraphernalia can be scary. Finding things like needles and spoons used for the use of heroin and other drugs can be extremely haunting for someone.

Disposing of these materials safely is crucial. It can deter the loved one from using, even temporarily, and also ensure the safety of those around them.

Marijuana pipes and bowls can easily identify that a loved one is using. If these items are around, there is a high probability that the loved one is using marijuana. 


Detox is a vital component of recovery. It provides a stable, safe, and healing environment for individuals to begin the recovery process.

Having the ability to manage withdrawal symptoms, as well as undergo beneficial therapies can set a strong foundation for them to continue on the road to recovery.

Professional medical detox can help those who are struggling to begin overcoming addiction and enter into recovery on a positive note. 

Recovery is Possible—Start Today

Watching as a loved one struggles with addiction to drugs can be draining. Addiction affects not only the person who is struggling but their loved ones as well. Drugs lead to devastation in the lives of countless Americans on a daily basis, but there is help available.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug abuse and addiction, we can help. At Enlightened Recovery, we offer a program dedicated to those struggling so they can find recovery.

Reach out today and begin healing and recovery.


Begin Your Recovery at Enlightened Recovery

Enlightened Recovery is here to help you or your loved one overcome drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Our holistic treatment programs treat the whole person in recovery. We have locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Get the help that you deserve now with Enlightened Recovery.