IDENTIFYING OPIATE MISUSE 

​​​Clermont County Save Line: 513.528.SAVE (7283)

​There are physical signs and behaviors to look for if you are worried someone is misusing opiates. These signs and behaviors may include:

  • Constricted pupils
  • Red or bloodshot eyes
  • Appearing tired or drowsy
  • Itchy skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation (may try to acquire remedies)
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slow movement and reactions
  • Mood swings
  • Apathy and depression
  • Change in appearance
  • Reduced social interaction
  • Deceitful or secretive behavior

Once the person becomes addicted to the opiate, you may notice lifestyle and behavioral changes. These may include:

  • Leaving short straws and rolled dollar bills around, along with small mirrors if they are crushing pills and snorting them.
  • Leaving pipes around, if a person smokes the drug.
  • Leaving syringes, rubber tubes, syringe caps, and droppers around, if they are injecting the drug
  • Spending all of their money on drugs so they may not have required items that they would normally be expected to have.
  • Having unexpected money or expensive items if they begin to sell drugs to support their addiction.
  • Preoccupation with obtaining drugs and maintaining their addiction. Contact with family and friends may decrease. They may have a new set of friends who are drug users.
  • Committing illegal acts to get money for drugs and possibly being arrested.
  • Neglecting work and school. Changes in overall attitude, including temper outbursts.
  • Talking more about partying or drinking.
  • Appearing jittery and secretive.
  • Deterioration of grooming and physical appearance.
  • Asking for money loans.
  • Missing items from the homes of family members or loved ones.
  • Wearing long-sleeved clothes if the person is an intravenous drug user.

This information was obtained from the following sources:  
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Partnership for Drug Free Kids  
Drug Policy Alliance 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration