Over the years something that has become a common trend with teens and adults alike is getting “high” by using many different drugs, the most common of which are marijuana – weed, some pills and opiates, meth, heroin, crack, all sort of destructive substances. Even though these drugs are illegal in pretty much throughout the world (with the exception of Canada, The Netherlands and some U.S states such as Colorado) people don’t seem to care much and continue to use them for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
Marijuana, also known by its many slang names such as weed, pot, grass, and Mary Jane along with others is consumed in a number of ways such as by being baked into food, turned into a tea or oil, however, the most common way to consume it is by smoking it through pipes, water pipes, and hand-rolled cigarettes.
People who consume marijuana go through something which is called a “high” which causes them to enter a euphoric state of mind. People who are in this state of mind often display signs of high energy, happy feelings, mood swings and other unexpected and intense feelings. In some cases, the user’s body gets an adrenaline rush that allows the person to do many things within a short amount of time. People who are “high” see an increase in happy feelings or gain an overwhelming sense of confidence. Being “high” leads to the “stoned” state of mind or condition where the body is in an opposite state.
Since Marijuana usage is so common these days (nearly 55 million people, or 22% of the general population has admitted using marijuana in some of or another just in the US) most of us like to know about the ways which they can use to tell if someone is high. Being able to tell if someone is high can be useful if you are trying to avoid someone who uses drugs, or trying to find one who uses drugs. While people consuming other drugs such as meth, cocaine, opiates, etc. may display very distinguishing signs of use, weed users may or may not. The reason for this is because marijuana contains a psychoactive chemical which is called THC, along with other compounds that are similar or related to THC. This makes it a little easier to tell whether someone is high or not. Now that all of this is out of the way, let’s begin your guide on how to tell if someone is high.
Check their eyes
The first thing you should check are the physical symptoms of the person that you suspect of being high. People who smoke a drug can suffer from symptoms such as bloodshot eyes or watery eyes. People who use marijuana usually end up with red eyes along with them having their pupils being constricted or dilated. They might also display rapid or unnecessary eye movements along with involuntary eye movements, or nystagmus. If someone is wearing sunglasses inside or in the shade, they might be trying to hide red or otherwise affected eyes which may give you an indication that they are probably high.
However, if someone has been smoking marijuana for a long amount of time or is someone who’d you call a stoner veteran, you probably won’t be able to tell anything from their eyes. Just as the name suggests, they’re veteran stoners and know how to get around from being caught. All they need to do is to use some eye drops to make their eyes go from being red to being normal, and since they are pros, they have control over their eye movement especially when compared with those first-time smokers to newbies.
Smell the person
If for some reason you can’t tell if a person is high or not just by looking into their eyes, the next best thing to do is smell their clothes, or the closed environment where you suspect them of smoking weed in such as their car or their room. Someone who has smoked marijuana might give out a very weird sweet, smoky or even skunky smell. This is due to the terpenes present in the hemp plant from which marijuana is extracted. Terpenes are the most common compounds produced by flowering plants and over 60,000 have been identified. They are responsible for the fragrance of nearly all flowers and plants, including marijuana. Other than that, if you smell some an incense such as an air freshener, or if someone is wearing a powerful perfume or cologne even though there is no special occasion, they might be trying to cover up the smell of the drug that they smoked.
Other behavioral signs
If smelling the person doesn’t confirm your suspicions of them being under the influence of drugs such as marijuana or methamphetamine, there are a number of behavioural signs that you can keep track of in order to tell if they are high or not. The first thing you can do is to pay close attention to the person’s speech since when people are high, they tend to speak too much or too quickly, or in some cases may have problems speaking or display an inability to speak. Other than that, if the person you are talking to appears to have some difficulty in concentrating on, or following the conversation, or if they seem unusually paranoid, deluded, or seem to be in a state of panic, they might be high. If you see someone who is slurring words but does not smell like alcohol, there is a high chance that they are high.
Other than keeping an eye on their speech patterns, you should also take into account their actions, especially usual movements and unusual energy shifts. When a person is high they tend to react slower than usual, or in some cases might not react to their surroundings at all. People who are high usually don’t experience pain as well since the THC inside marijuana acts as a natural painkiller. And if you find them moving as if they are drunk, but without the smell of consumption of alcohol, there’s a high possibility that they are high. People who regularly use drugs also display signs of rapid deterioration of physical coordination.
What does being high feel like? Along with that, many also exhibit factors such as unusually high sociability, lack of inhibition, poor judgment, or an increased or decreased appetite and even an increased or decreased sexual drive. One of the key indicators that a person is high is their inappropriate and uncontrollable laughter, along with their intense need to constantly snack. When they are high, people usually undergo a total personality change as a result of which they might seem to be more euphoric, relaxed, anxious and agitated, exhilarated, overconfident or more aggressive than usual. Keep an eye out for an unusual intensity of mood, or a rapid mood swings. If you know someone well, and they are behaving in an uncharacteristic way, that could be because of them being high. Apart from that, sleeplessness and restlessness are also signs of being high along with drowsiness.
Check their vital signs
If you want to tell if someone is high or not, you can check their vitals such as their pulse rate, their respiration rate, body temperature, and blood pressure since all of these are affected by the drug use in any form. However, only do so if you feel safe touching the person in question, or if they are okay with you touching them, and if they are, you should take their pulse and check his temperature and if you find some irregulars in them (such as above or below average pulse or body temperature), there is a high chance that they are under the influence of drugs. Cold and sweaty skin is also something people who are high may face, and an increase or decrease in blood pressure, an increased heart rate, or slowed breathing can all be signs of drug use.
Check for drug paraphernalia
The thing with most drugs is that they need to be used with something in order to enter your system, especially when it comes to marijuana. As mentioned before, people can consume marijuana in a variety of ways such as through smoking it in a hand-rolled cigarette or cigar, though a water or regular pipe, in a bong etc. This is why you should keep an eye out for any drug paraphernalia with the person in question since finding these items is often what confirms one’s suspicions about whether or not someone has a habit of getting high. Most of the drug paraphernalia associated with marijuana include rolling papers, pipes which can be made of different materials such as glasses, roach clips, bongs, cigar paper, e-cigarettes. Other than that, people who frequently get high carry around, or have access to things such as eye droppers, cotton balls, air fresheners and/or perfumes.
If you have gone through all the points of how to tell if someone is high or not, you are probably someone who has some concerns or are concerned about someone. Though marijuana might not necessarily come with the more severe physical side effects of other drugs such as heroin, throughout the years it has turned into something that is increasingly problematic and dangerous. This is due to the increased amount of THC in much of the marijuana/weed available today according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this high potency of THC can lead to psychiatric problems for users such as the sense of being disconnected from reality.
While it might not affect all of the general population, these signs and symptoms are likely to occur in people with a pre-existing mental health disorder, be it visible or invisible. Other than that if someone is a long-term and heavy user of a drug or another they may experience mild withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the drug. These symptoms include irritability and sleeping problems. If you see any of the warning signs mentioned such as red eyes, delayed reaction times and increased appetite, you might want to sit down and have a talk with the person to determine whether or not a problem exists before it’s too late.
A good number of people believe that marijuana use is not a problem, but it can lead to issues which range from trouble at school or at work, to relationship problems. There is also the likelihood of a marijuana user participating in risky or dangerous behaviours, and there are even more severe risks associated with particular types of lab made synthetic marijuana. There also have been a number of studies which concluded that while weed may not be as harmful as the other drugs that are available on the streets, it does act as a gateway to the hardcore stuff. This is because due to excessive and regular use, users of the drug may not fell the high as much as they used to, and usually end up going towards the stronger substances in order to chase that high state.
Throughout the world, there are many forms of treatment available which help people in stopping the use of drugs. These treatments include cognitive-behavioural therapy, therapeutic management of behaviour, and motivational therapy. Seeking help for qualified medical or mental health professionals can enable you to identify potential treatment options, especially if the person in question of being high is a minor.
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