With festival season in full swing, drug use is unfortunately very prevalent. That’s why Addiction specialist Martin Preston has warned festival goers to be extra vigilant and be able to identify the signs early on before a hazard takes hold.
Martin, founder and chief executive at Private Rehab Clinic Delamere, has shared some tips on recognising the signs of drug use at a festival to ensure safety before it’s too late. The early invention is essential to provide the most robust chances of successful recovery.
If someone has used marijuana, they could seem in a euphoric state, but they might also seem uncoordinated and forgetful. Since cannabis increases appetite, the person may eat more than usual.
Reactions may be slower, and the user may become paranoid and suspicious. Those who have smoked marijuana often appear with bloodshot eyes, droopy eyelids, and an overall relaxed or mellow demeanour.
If someone has taken stimulants such as cocaine, they may exhibit frequent behaviour changes, aggression, or rapid or rambling speech. They may display dilated pupils, increased energy, and a fast breathing rate.
In some cases, users may become paranoid or hostile. If users snort the drug, nasal congestion is a common sign of use. Taking drugs like cocaine can damage the mucous membrane inside the nose.
The signs of hallucinogen use vary depending on the specific drug in question. LSD (acid) might cause a person to act impulsively and experience hallucinations. Someone who has used psilocybin (magic mushrooms) may experience hallucinations, nausea, muscle twitching, and difficulty differentiating between hallucinations and reality.
People with hallucinogens may appear drowsy, paranoid, or at peace, depending on the type of trip they are having.
Ecstasy, ketamine, and GHB are common types of club drugs. Signs and symptoms of use include increased body temperature, poor coordination, dizziness, excessive sweating, clenched teeth, and slurred speech. These can be extremely dangerous, lead to dehydration or even overhydration, and both can be fatal.
Opioids include both prescription painkillers and illicit drug heroin. Signs of opioid abuse include overall sedation, memory issues, inability to concentrate, slowed reaction times, lethargy, and mood swings.
Since opioids can slow the digestive system, users often experience constipation and other intestinal issues. Users may experience withdrawal symptoms such as serious anxiety when without the drug.
Barbiturates and benzodiazepines
These CNS depressants are often prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Benzodiazepines include common medications, such as Valium and Xanax.
A person who abuses these drugs may appear uninhibited, dizzy, or depressed. They may experience blurry vision, balance issues, and overall confusion. They may also present involuntary eye movements, known as nystagmus.
Martin Preston, founder and CEO of Delamere, has warned of the importance of spotting drug use early: ‘If you suspect someone has taken drugs, early intervention is crucial to ensure they have the best chance at a successful recovery. You should take them to the medical tent at a festival to ensure professionals can monitor their condition.’
‘Friends and family members may stage an intervention once signs of drug use are apparent; if so, a professional interventionist can guide the planning process and the execution of the event for best results.’
‘Loved ones should also research comprehensive addiction treatment programs. Treatment should include medical detox and therapy to address the underlying issues related to substance abuse.’