Understanding the signs of drug abuse

Drug Testing Hair Testing
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Signs of Drug Abuse

It is likely that you will come into contact with clients that are suffering from drug abuse, but what are the signs of drug abuse?  

The definition of drug abuse can be characterised as the habitual use of illegal or legal drugs. Drugs are effective at making the user addicted, due to the drugs ability to target the reward centre of the brain. Tricking the brain of the user to release a vast sum of endorphins, the drug is teaching the brain to reward a “good behaviour”.

How can you recognise if your client is taking drugs?  

There are various signs of drug abuse that you can spot with your client, there will be various physical, behavioural and psychological signs of drug abuse. However different drugs will cause different reactions in people.

Physical Signs

If your client has recently taken drugs then their eyes could be blood shot, and their speech will be slurred or will have they could have poor coordination. If you have been in contact with the client over a long period of time, you may of noticed significant weight loss or weight gain. Your clients physical well-being or care for personal appearance and hygiene may suffer due to a lack of motivation and care.  

Behavioural Signs

Your client may be difficult to communicate with, for instance, if you struggle to organise a meeting or a telephone conversation with them on a regular basis. Your client may also mention their financial problems or you may notice signs of physical violence. There may also be a mention about new places or people they are meeting.

Psychological Signs

Your client’s mood or personality may change on a regular basis, these changes can include hyperactivity, a reduction in motivation or self worth, a sense of paranoia that seems unwarranted or out of character.

Detecting drug abuse in a client is a difficult task, its almost like becoming a detective, however if your client has been taking drugs, our testing methods will clearly state what drug they have been taking and the frequency of use.  

How do we test for drug abuse?

The most accurate way of testing for drug abuse in your client is hair drug testing, this is a simple process, a nurse will take 2 to 4 hair samples, depending on the amount of testing needed. The sample will consist of 200 hair strands from the crown of the head.

The laboratory toxicology experts will be identifying the metabolites in the hair of the user, this is a chemical reaction that is stimulated in the body that resides in the users hair, only by taking a drug can this reaction happen. This method of hair drug testing can establish the level of drug abuse for up to 12 month.

Our world leading expert and the founder of hair drug testing, Dr Pascal Kintz is on hand to provide a robust expert witness report. He will give his expert opinion as to why the test results have been produced, in order to deliver more clarity to the results.  

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about drugs and their potential effects on your clients, please call 0203 4243 470. Or you can request a quote direct from our website.

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