Cannabis is easily the most commonly used illegal drug among Britons; 93% of drug users (over 14 million people) have used cannabis. It is often seen as a gateway drug, as it is undoubtedly the drug that most drug users try first. The British Drugs Survey of 2014 found that it was the first illegal drug taken by 82% of recreational drug users.
When you are worried that someone you know is taking cannabis, it can be difficult to deal with, regardless of whether the person is a friend, family member, or work colleague.
If it’s a teenager that you are worried about, it is often difficult to understand if the behaviour and appearance change in an adolescent is due to the process of growing up, or if something more serious is happening. (Note: the use of Alcohol and Cigarettes is steadily declining among 15- and 16-year-olds in Europe. However, the numbers using cannabis are increasing …)
If it is a colleague that you believe might be using cannabis, then they are doing more than just risking their own health. Depending on what they do within the company, they may be risking the lives of the other people around them. Either way, they are also damaging the company with their lack of productivity.
The following are some signs of cannabis use to watch out for if you believe someone might be using cannabis.
Have You Spotted Any of These Signs?
- Breath Mints – Popping breath mints can be a sign of a person trying to disguise the strong smell of cannabis on the breath,
- Eye Drops – red eyes from smoking cannabis are a fact, not a myth. A person might use eyedrops to disguise their cannabis use.
- Mood swings – does the person go from being happy, sociable, and relaxed to being angry, abusive, paranoid, and maybe even violent?
- Signs of the person being depressed or feeling isolated.
- Deceitful – people who use cannabis tend to hide what they are doing and are more secretive, lying in an attempt to cover their tracks and cannabis use
- Food cravings – people who use cannabis get “the munchies” and tend to have bouts of eating a lot of food
- Has their perception and judgement started to become impaired and clouded?
- Do they get “secret” phone calls and disappear without any explanation?
- Have they started chain smoking?
- Can you see small burns on the forefinger and thumb? These marks are caused when someone smokes a joint down to the very end.
- Are things going missing from your home or office, in particularly money?
- Have they stopped caring about their personal hygiene and overall appearance? You may begin to see some round burn marks on their belongings, particularly clothing. Their clothes might smell of burned sage.
- Cannabis users typically have blank expressions
- Cannabis use causes physical changes included slurred speech, rings under the eyes, sensitive/red eyes, dilated pupils, rash around the mouth, runny nose, chest infections, indigestion, stomach cramps, stomach upsets, coughing, sniffling, and tiredness
- Have they developed problems with concentrating and their short-term memory? If a person cannot follow a conversation it may well be because they are experimenting with drugs such as cannabis.
Signs to Watch for With Family Members and Relatives:
- In Teenagers, a sudden drop in academic performance.
- They have new friends, and might have abandoned their old ones
- They are no longer interest in hobbies or activities that they once found enjoyable.
- They keep their bedroom door locked
- Does the person talk in code with friends in your presence?
- A sudden need for cash an then having little to show for it.
- You find drug paraphernalia such as Rizla papers, clear plastic bags, pipes, bongs, candles, blackened spoons, and torn pieces of card.
If these signs sound familiar to you, then you may want to conduct a small and simple test to see if drugs are present. We provide simple to use saliva and urine drug testing kits. Our cannabis testing kits start at prices as low as £2.49. Take a look at our website to find out more about the range of tests we have, as well as tips on performing the tests and further advice on how to handle the situation.