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Addiction Signs and Symptoms


Narcotics & Inhalants

Narcotics/Prescription Drugs/Opium/Heroin/Codeine/Oxycontin

  • Lethargic, drowsiness
  • Constricted pupils that fail to respond to light
  • Redness and raw nostrils from inhaling heroin in power form
  • Scars or tracks on inner arms or other parts of the body from needle injections
  • Use or possession of paraphernalia, such as syringes or bent spoons, bottle caps, eyedroppers, rubber tubing, cotton and needles
  • Slurred speech

Note: While there may be no readily apparent symptoms of analgesic abuse, it may be indicated by frequent visits to different physicians or dentists for prescriptions to treat pain of non-specific origin. In cases where a patient has chronic pain and abuse of medication is suspected, it may be indicated by the amount of medication and frequency it's taken.

Inhalants — Solvents/Glue/Petrol/Aerosols

  • Substance odor on breath and clothes
  • Runny nose
  • Watering eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Slowed breathing
  • Brain damage
  • Poor muscle control
  • Pain in the chest, muscles, and joints
  • Heart trouble
  • Severe depression and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bronchial spasm
  • Nosebleeds and sores on mouth
  • Bizarre and reckless behavior
  • Drowsiness or unconsciousness
  • Suffocation and sudden death
  • Presence of bags or rags containing dry plastic cement or other solvents at home, in locker at school or at work
  • Discarded whipped cream cans, spray paint cans or similar chargers (containing nitrous oxide)
  • Small bottles labeled "incense" (containing butyl nitrite)

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