Signs of Drug Abuse

Changing patterns of performance, appearance and behaviour may signal the use of drugs.  The items in the first category listed below proved direct evidence of drug use, while items in the other categories offer signs that may indicate drug use.  For this reason parents should look for extreme changes in children’s behaviour , changes that together form a pattern associated with drug use.

Signs of Drug Abuse and Drug Equipment

Possession of drug-related equipment such as pipes, rolling papers or small decongestant bottles

Possession of drugs, peculiar plants, butts, seeds or leaves in ashtrays or in clothing pockets

Odour of drugs, smell of incense or other “cover-up” scents

Identification with Drug Culture

Drug-related magazines, slogans on clothing and posters

Conversations and jokes that are preoccupied with drugs

Hostility in discussing drugs

Music which glorifies drugs

Signs of Physical Deterioration

Memory lapses, short attention span, difficulty in concentration

Poor physical co-ordination, slurred or incoherent speech

Unhealthy appearance, indifference to hygiene and grooming

Bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils – often find them using eye drops in their eyes


Changes in Behaviour

Chronic dishonesty (lying, stealing, cheating)

Changes in friends, evasiveness in talking about new friends

Possession of large amounts of money

Increasing and inappropriate anger, hostility, irritability and secretiveness

Reduced motivation, energy, self-discipline and self-esteem

Diminished interest in extracurricular activities and hobbies


XTC – Ecstasy

Ecstasy is synonymous with Raves.

The tablets are either brown or pink.

They can cause psychological and physical harm.

Reduced appetite

Causes sleep problems

Depression and anxiety

Dependency can be fatal

Dagga / Cannabis

This drug consists of the flowering tops, leaves, stems and seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant.  Users can experience depression, anxiety attacks and bizarre, terrifying hallucinations

 LSD “Acid”

A powerful  hallucinogen.  A mind altering drug that was very popular in the 60’s.  It leads to severe personality disturbances.  Flashbacks occur, which is a sudden intense recurrence of hallucinations several days, months or years after use!


The drug of the street children of South Africa.  Glue, petrol, nail polish removers, paint and thinners, lighter fuels etc.  Sever psychological and physiological dependence.  Can lead to severe physical damage.


Alcoholics cannot control their drinking.  Alcohol is a drug, a central nervous system depressant – not a stimulant.  As such, it will depress certain brain functions.


Mandrax produces depression and slows down the nervous system.  Overdosing is a real danger as tolerance to the drug develops rapidly


Derivative of cocaine but cheaper.  Resembles small irregular whitish stones, ‘crack’ is the sound they make when smoking.  The good feeling lasts for 5-20 minutes.  Crack leads to breathing problems, stroke, heart failure, depression, paranoia and psychosis.


Close Menu
Call Now