Warning Signs & Types of Drugs

Signs of Increased Misuse of Substances

Here are some helpful signs to look for if you are suspecting misuse of alcohol and drugs.


Physical warning signs:

  • bloodshot eyes or enlarged pupils
  • random nosebleeds quite frequently (indication of snorting drugs)
  • change in appetite or sleeping patterns
  • seizures
  • deterioration of grooming habits
  • loss of coordination resulting in injuries
  • shakiness or trembling
  • incoherent or slurred speech

Behavioral warning signs:

  • missing school and/or work
  • a decline in grades
  • no longer participating in extracurricular activities
  • theft of money or prescription drugs missing
  • constant borrowing of money
  • isolation
  • fixation with music, clothes, and posted related to alcohol and drugs
  • sudden change in relationship, friendships, hangouts, and hobbies

Psychological warning signs:

  • profound change in personality and attitude
  • mood swings and angrier than usual
  • fearful or paranoid for no reason
  • emotionally vacant or unusually active
  • agitated

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What substances do young people use?

Young people have been known to use cannabis and alcohol more than any other substance.


– Drinking too much alcohol can harm the liver, pancreas, heart, brain, and nervous system. Alcohol is also the number one cause of death for young people in car accidents.


– cannabis can affect ones learning abilities. It can also cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression.


Other substances they may use are:


– cocaine causes rapid heartbeats which could cause a heart attack, seizure, or stroke.

Inhalants, Solvents, and Glues

– contain poison so when inhaled can damage the brain, liver, kidneys, blood, or bone marrow.

Commonly Abused Inhalants In your House: Glues, Nail Polish Remover, Nail Polish, Lighter Fluid, Spray Paints, Aerosol Deodorant and Hair Sprays, Whipped cream canisters, Cleaning Fluids, Paint Thinners and Removers, Dry-Cleaning Fluids, Degreasers, Gasoline, Correction fluids, Felt-tip Markers, Ether, Chloroform, Halothane, Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

“Club drugs” or “Date-rape drugs”

– can cause a person to have trouble breathing, to pass out, or to be conscious but unable to move. Some of them can also lead to thought and memory problems, anxiety, depression, overdose, and date rape.

Street names: Ecstasy (MDMA), Molly, M, X

Date rape drug names include – gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), and ketamine.

Methamphetamine (Meth)

– can cause seizures, strokes, mental health issues (paranoia, hallucinations, delusions), and long-term health problems.

Opioids such as fentanyl, heroin, morphine, and codeine.

– some of these drugs can cause lung problems, harm the liver and kidneys, cause infections like hepatitis and HIV if the person uses shared injection equipment and fluids, and lead to overdose.

Prescription Narcotics & Stimulants

Commonly abused narcotics – Oxycontin® (known on the street as Oxy, Hillbilly heroin, Big C, and Killer), Dilaudid®, Percocet®, Percodan®, Demerol®, Codeine, Morphine (Duramorph® and Roxanol®), MS Contin®, Fentanyl (Duragesic®), Pentazocine (Talwin®), Propoxyphene (Darvon®), and Tylenol 3

Commonly abused stimulants – Ritalin (Methylphenidate), Adderall, Dexedrine, Adderall XR, Concerta STREET NAMES: Dex(ies), Rits, Vitamin R, West Coast, Add(ies)


Sources: https://sossafetymagazine.com/drugs-alcohol/street-drug-name-guide/