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6 Ways to Tell if Somebody is High

An individual is said to be “high” when he or she gets intoxicated by recreational drugs. Drugs have become a menace to the society as a whole with many youngsters falling prey to it. In fact teenagers take it as a style statement knowing very little about the long term implications of feeling “high.” It is important for parents of such people to have knowledge of how to recognize if they suspect that any of their loved ones have fallen into this perilous trap.

Parents and well-wishers can either ask the individual directly whether they are on drugs or there are certain physical and behavioral abnormalities that indicate that a person is on drugs. This is important because normally a person on drugs recovers by himself after a few hours when the effects of the drug subside. However, in some instances, such as an overdose of drug, medical help is emergently required to detoxify the person and prevent any imminent threat to the life.

In some cases, an individual might not even know that he or she has been drugged by someone else. This is where knowledge of what to look out for when an individual is high becomes handy. This article highlights some of the physical and behavioral changes that can be observed when an individual is “HIGH” on drugs.

6 Ways to Tell if Somebody is High

Some of the signs that indicate that a person is “High” on drugs are:

  1. Eyes; the First Reflection of Drugs: An individual who smokes weed or marijuana will have persistently red and watery eyes.(1, 3, 7) The pupils of a person who is “high” on drugs will be either dilated or constricted based on the drug used.(3) There will also be rapid eye movements as if the individual is searching for something and avoiding direct eye contact. Youngsters tend to wear sunglasses to hide the red and watery eyes even when they are inside the house or in shade.
  2. Smell “Alarm”: Smoking marijuana will cause a sweet smell to come from the mouth. (2, 7) If a person has a metallic or chemical smell, then it indicates towards consumption of toxic products like a paint thinner, which is also quite commonly seen in youngsters as a cheap way to get “high”. Normally, people use a mouth freshener to cover the smell of the drug used.
  3. Observe the Mouth Movements: It is also important to observe the way a person eats to find out if he or she is on drugs. Lip smacking is commonly seen in drug addicts, as they generally have a dry mouth.(4) Additionally, an individual on drugs will constantly clench the teeth and lick the lips, which is a clear sign of an individual being “high” on drugs.(5)
  4. The Nose Also Tells A Tale About Drugs: Most drugs are consumed by snorting or sniffing.(6) Cocaine is the drug, which is commonly consumed by snorting.(6) Constantly doing it causes frequent nosebleeds without an apparent medical cause for it.(6) The individual snorting drugs will also have a continuously congested nose. This can be caused by other conditions too, but if nose congestion occurs with other symptoms of drug abuse, then it points towards the individual being “high” and uses drugs. Additionally, there may be traces of powder on the nostrils and the upper half of the lip, which also points towards drug abuse.
  5. Hands Also Give Away A Person Who Is “HIGH”: An individual who is “high” on drugs will constantly have shaking and tremor of the hands. He or she will also have sweaty palms, which is a virtual give away that the individual is “high” on drugs. People who take crack cocaine tend to have fingertips that look burnt.
  6. Vital Signs Are An Important Indication Of Drug Abuse: If an individual displays signs of drug use and is incoherent and is having delusions, this indicates that he or she is going through withdrawal symptoms and usually requires medical attention. In such cases, it is best to check the pulse and temperature of the individual. A drug addict will always have a cold skin and his or her blood pressure will either be low or high. The respiratory rate of such individuals is also quite slow.


Identifying a dear one who may be on drugs is the first step towards bringing their life back to normal. There are quite a few signs, which can give you a fair idea when someone is “HIGH” on drugs. Observing the eyes of the individual in question is a good way of identifying an individual who is on drugs.

Persistent red and watery eyes are a clear indicator of drug use. Frequent clenching of teeth, lip smacking and licking the lips are also some of the common signs seen in people who tend to be “high” on drugs. Once an individual is identified as being on drugs, then good family support is the need of the hour.

There are numerous de-addiction centres across the country that provide inpatient and outpatient treatments to help individuals get rid of this fatal drug habit and deal with any withdrawal symptoms that the patient may have during the treatment course. The final objective of the family and the physician is to completely distance the patient away from this menace of drugs.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 19, 2022

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