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How to Tell If Your Spouse Is a Drug User

by Ashlea Campbell

Finding out if your partner is a drug user may not be as easy as you may think. Images of altered skin tone, scars and missing teeth may fill your mind when thinking of what a drug user might look like. While these stereotypical images may permeate your brain, there are other, less detectable signs you should pay attention to when trying to determine if your loved one uses drugs.

Changes in Behavior

Often times the clues that someone uses drugs are not physical clues. In fact, you should pay special attention to behavioral changes in your spouse. For example, if your once open and loving husband becomes secretive and suspicious, he may be using drugs. Likewise, if he severely disrupts his routine to the point that it negatively affects his performance at work and home, he may use drugs. Be aware if your husband seems nervous or agitated for no apparent reason, as these may also be signs of drug use, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

Physical & Health Concerns

Different drugs produce different physical reactions in individuals. For example, someone who snorts cocaine may experience bloody noses, whereas marijuana users may have bloodshot eyes. Unfortunately, drugs can cause lasting physical effects that may not be identifiable right away. If your loved one starts having seizures, this may be the result of prolonged drug use. Other common signs include slurred or impaired speech, weight loss and weight gain. Different drugs may not produce a direct change in appearance, but the erratic lifestyle associated with drug use may cause your spouse to neglect daily hygiene. Pay attention to changes in dress and grooming. If you notice unusual odors coming from your spouse, this could also be a sign of drug use.

Stolen Goods

Pay attention to you and your spouse’s finances. If money is gone quickly and your spouse appears to have no explanation as to why the money is no longer there, she could be using drugs. Your medicine cabinet is also a good place to watch. Prescription drug abuse is difficult to identify. However, if your wife runs out of medication prior to the time to get a refill, this could be a sign that she is abusing her prescription. In addition, if you notice prescriptions for someone other than your wife, or that your medications disappear from the medicine cabinet, she may be abusing prescription drugs.

Get Help

In order to save your spouse’s life, it is important to act immediately. Rather than let your spouse convince you that he’s not using drugs, rely on what you’ve observed and your knowledge of drug abuse. If you’re having trouble intervening, rely on the support of friends and family who want to see your spouse’s drug use end. You may need professional help to begin treatment and recovery for your spouse.

About the Author

Ashlea Campbell writes about families, relationships and health-related issues. In addition to writing professionally, she teaches writing courses at Collin College in Plano, Texas. She holds a Masters degree in English education from the University of Kansas.

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