If a friend or family member’s behavior changes without an obvious cause, you may have a reason to be concerned about a drug problem. Look for changes in:


  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Abrupt weight changes
  • Bruises, infections, or other physical signs at the drug’s entrance point on the body


  • Increased aggression or irritability
  • Changes in attitude/personality
  • Change in personal grooming habits
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Secretive or suspicious behavior
  • Drop in attendance at school or work
  • Sudden changes in a social network
  • Dramatic changes in habits and/or priorities
  • Involvement in criminal activity
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems

What to Say

Tell them you’re concerned and why. If you think you need support to have the conversation, get it.  You may want to talk to someone who specializes in addiction counseling. The person you’re concerned about may not agree to make any changes, but you have made a start in the process of change.

And be sure to get help for yourself! Dealing with someone in trouble with drugs is very difficult. You can’t change the addict but you can change your relationship to them. Remember:

  • You didn’t cause it.
  • You can’t control it.
  • You can’t cure it.