Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Abuse

Physical Signs
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Constricted pupils—pupils smaller than normal
  • Usually poor appearance—not doing hair/ make-up / bathing / brushing teeth
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Red marks in arm—bruised hands/feet
  • Winter clothes in the summer to hide needle marks
  • Nodding off—fall asleep and wake suddenly
  • Sudden weight loss with loss of appetite
  • Wearing baggy clothes to hide weight loss
  • Impaired coordination, slurred speech
  • Skin tone—greyish
  • Flu-like symptoms often, complaining of stomach aches, allergies
  • Burns on hands or fingers 

Behavioral Signs
  • Large amount of time sleeping/ sleeping at unusual times
  • Change in friends
  • Lack of interest/ motivation in previously enjoyed activities (sports/gym)
  • Less interaction with the family
  • Frequent trips to the pharmacy
  • Skipping class/ declining grades/ suddenly getting in trouble at school
  • Missing money, jewelry, cell phone/tablets, computers or prescriptions

Environmental Signs
  • Finding evidence of drug paraphernalia
  • Small plastic bags or wax paper bags
  • Syringes, plastic caps used to cover the syringe
  • Residue from crushed up pills
  • Empty pill capsules
  • Straws cut in half
  • Rolled up dollar bills
  • Spoons bent or with burn marks on them
  • Tin foil in trash