Signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be easily recognized by a parent, husband or wife, teacher, co-worker, or anybody. At NICD we provide you with the tools you need to recognize substance abuse. NICD is the only agency that has a pupilometer, which is the first and easiest detection method, but also the first sign that is noticed by law enforcement. AT NICD, WE OPPOSE CATCH AND PUNISH- WE ADVOCATE IDENTIFY AND HELP...

NICD Listings of Halfway Houses

NICD Listings of Treatment Centers/Agencies


General: General and specific guides to detection and signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug use, as well as a definition of addiction or substance abuse.


I. General Guide to Detection of Addiction

II. Definition of Addiction

III. Pupil Dilation 

IV. Signs and Symptoms

V. Paraphernalia    a) Signs and Symptoms Chart Version

VI. Drug Facts

VII. Articles and Other Addiction Resources

VIII. Drug Pictures and Chemical Dependency Resources

IX. NICD Topics

X. Additional Articles (Alcoholism, Drugs, Teenage Addiction, Interventions)

XI. Overdose and Emergency Intervention Techniques

I. Specific: General: Abrupt changes in work or school

attendance, quality of work, work output, grades, discipline.

Unusual flare-ups or outbreaks of temper. Withdrawal from

responsibility. General changes in overall attitude.                 

Deterioration of physical appearance and grooming.

 Wearing of sunglasses at inappropriate times. 

Continual wearing of long-sleeved garments particularly in hot

 weather or reluctance to wear short sleeved attire when

  appropriate. Association with known substance abusers.

  Unusual borrowing of money from friends, co-workers or

  parents. Stealing small items from employer, home or

  school. Secretive behavior regarding actions and possessions;

  poorly concealed attempts to avoid attention and suspicion such

  as frequent trips to storage rooms, restroom, basement, etc. 


II. Specific: DSM-IV Definition of Addiction- A maladaptive pattern of

substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as

 manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in

the same 12-month period: (1) Tolerance, as defined by either of the

following: a. A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance

to achieve intoxication or desired effect. b. Markedly diminished effect

with continued use of the same amount of the substance.

(2) Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: a. The

characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance b. The same

(or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal

symptoms. (3) The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over

a longer period than was intended (loss of control).(4) There is a

persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control

substance use (loss of control). (5) A great deal of time is spent

in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance,

or recover from its effects (preoccupation). (6) Important social,

occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced

because of substance use (continuation despite adverse

consequences). (7) The substance use is continued despite

knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or

psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or

exacerbated by the substance (adverse consequences).

III. Specific: Pupil Dilation Before you do anything, consider

this. There are two trains of thought prior to detection and

intervention. One thought is to catch and punish, and the

other is to identify and help- remember why you are doing

this, and the intervention will turn out much better.

Note: The following images are actual charts used by

Neurologists, M.D.'s, R.N.'s, Drug Counselors, etc. to

diagnose conditions related to brain injuries, medications

effects, and intoxication / drug use indicators.

The images to the left are of various pupil sizes.

A 6mm, 7mm, or 8mm pupil size could indicate that a person is

under the influence of cocaine, crack, meth., hallucinogens, crystal,

 ecstasy, or other stimulant. A 1mm or 2mm pupil size could

indicate a person under the influence of heroin, opiates, or other

depressant, (see more examples below).



This pupil is close to pinpoint and could indicate use.

This pupil is completely dilated and could indicate use.

Blown out wide pupils are indicative of crack, methamphetamine, cocaine, stimulant use. Pinpoint pupils are indicative of heroin, opiate, depressant use.

Other causes of pupil dilation

IV. Specific: Signs and Symptoms 

Alcohol: Odor on the breath. Intoxication. Difficulty focusing: glazed

appearance of the eyes. Uncharacteristically passive behavior; or combative

and argumentative behavior. Gradual (or sudden in adolescents) deterioration

in personal appearance and hygiene. Gradual development of dysfunction,

especially in job performance or school work. Absenteeism (particularly on

Monday). Unexplained bruises and accidents. Irritability. Flushed skin.

Loss of memory (blackouts). Availability and consumption of alcohol

becomes the focus of social or professional activities. Changes in

peer-group associations and friendships. Impaired interpersonal

relationships (troubled marriage, unexplainable termination of

deep relationships, alienation from close family members).


Marijuana/Pot: Rapid, loud talking and bursts of laughter in

early stages of intoxication. Sleepy or stuporous in the later stages.

Forgetfulness in conversation. Inflammation in whites of eyes; pupils

unlikely to be dilated. Odor similar to burnt rope on clothing or breath.

Tendency to drive slowly - below speed limit. Distorted sense of time \passage - tendency to overestimate time 

intervals. Use or possession of paraphernalia including roach clip, packs of rolling papers,

pipes or bongs. Marijuana users are difficult to recognize unless they are

under the influence of the drug at the time of observation. Casual users

may show none of the general symptoms. Marijuana does have a distinct

odor and may be the same color or a bit greener than tobacco.


Cocaine/Crack/Methamphetamines/Stimulants: Extremely dilated

pupils. Dry mouth and nose, bad breath, frequent lip licking. Excessive

activity, difficulty sitting still, lack of interest in food or sleep. Irritable,

argumentative, nervous. Talkative, but conversation often lacks

continuity; changes subjects rapidly. Runny nose, cold or chronic

 sinus/nasal problems, nose bleeds. Use or possession of

paraphernalia including small spoons, razor blades, mirror,

little bottles of white powder and plastic, glass or metal straws.


Depressants: Symptoms of alcohol intoxication with no alcohol

odor on breath (remember that depressants are frequently used

with alcohol). Lack of facial expression or animation. Flat affect.

Flaccid appearance. Slurred speech. Note: There are few readily

apparent symptoms. Abuse may be indicated by activities such as

frequent visits to different physicians for prescriptions to treat

"nervousness", "anxiety"," stress", etc.


Narcotics/Prescription Drugs/Opium/Heroin/Codeine/

Oxycontin: Lethargy, drowsiness. Constricted pupils fail to respond

to light. Redness and raw nostrils from inhaling heroin in power form.

Scars (tracks) on inner arms or other parts of body, from needle injections.

Use or possession of paraphernalia, including syringes, bent spoons,

bottle caps, eye droppers, rubber tubing, cotton and needles. Slurred

speech. While there may be no readily apparent symptoms of analgesic

abuse, it may be indicated by frequent visits to different physicians or

dentists for prescriptions to treat pain of non-specific origin. In cases

 where patient has chronic pain and abuse of medication is suspected,

it may be indicated by amounts and frequency taken.


Inhalants: Substance odor on breath and clothes. Runny nose.

Watering eyes. Drowsiness or unconsciousness. Poor muscle control.

Prefers group activity to being alone. Presence of bags or rags

containing dry plastic cement or other solvent at home, in locker

at school or at work. Discarded whipped cream, spray paint or

similar chargers (users of nitrous oxide). Small bottles labeled

"incense" (users of butyl nitrite).


Solvents, Aerosols, Glue, Petrol: Nitrous Oxide - laughing gas, whippits, nitrous.

Amyl Nitrate - snappers, poppers, pearlers, rushamies.

Butyl Nitrate - locker room, bolt, bullet, rush, climax, red gold. Slurred speech,

impaired coordination, nausea, vomiting, slowed breathing. Brain damage,

pains in the chest, muscles, joints, heart trouble, severe depression, fatigue,

loss of appetite, bronchial spasm, sores on nose or mouth, nosebleeds,

diarrhea, bizarre or reckless behavior, sudden death, suffocation.


LSD/Hallucinogens: Extremely dilated pupils, (see note below). Warm

skin, excessive perspiration and body odor. Distorted sense of sight, hearing,

touch; distorted image of self and time perception. Mood and behavior changes,

the extent depending on emotional state of the user and environmental conditions

Unpredictable flashback episodes even long after withdrawal

(although these are rare). Hallucinogenic drugs, which occur both

naturally and in synthetic form, distort or disturb sensory input,

sometimes to a great degree. Hallucinogens occur naturally in

primarily two forms, (peyote) cactus and psilocybin mushrooms.

Several chemical varieties have been synthesized, most notably

LSD, MDA , STP, and PCP. Hallucinogen usage reached a peak

in the United States in the late 1960's, but declined shortly

thereafter due to a broader awareness of the detrimental effects

of usage. However, a disturbing trend indicating a resurgence in

hallucinogen usage by high-school and college age persons

nationwide has been acknowledged by law enforcement. With the

exception of PCP, all hallucinogens seem to share common effects

of use. Any portion of sensory perceptions may be altered to varying

degrees. Synesthesia, or the "seeing" of sounds, and the "hearing" of

colors, is a common side effect of hallucinogen use. Depersonalization,

acute anxiety, and acute depression resulting in suicide have also been

noted as a result of hallucinogen use. Note: there are some forms of

hallucinogens that are considered downers and constrict pupil diameters.


PCP: Unpredictable behavior; mood may swing from passiveness to

violence for no apparent reason. Symptoms of intoxication. Disorientation;

agitation and violence if exposed to excessive sensory stimulation. Fear,

terror. Rigid muscles. Strange gait. Deadened sensory perception

(may experience severe injuries while appearing not to notice).

Pupils may appear dilated. Mask like facial appearance. Floating

pupils, appear to follow a moving object. Comatose (unresponsive)

if large amount consumed. Eyes may be open or closed.


Ecstasy: Confusion, depression, headaches, dizziness (from

hangover/after effects), muscle tension, panic attacks, paranoia,

possession of pacifiers (used to stop jaw clenching), lollipops,

candy necklaces, mentholated vapor rub, severe anxiety, sore

jaw (from clenching teeth after effects), vomiting or nausea

(from hangover/after effects)

Signs that your teen could be high on Ecstasy: Blurred vision,

rapid eye movement, pupil dilation, chills or sweating, high body

temperature, sweating profusely, dehydrated, confusion, faintness,

paranoia or severe anxiety, trance-like state, transfixed on sites and

sounds, unconscious clenching of the jaw, grinding teeth, very



V. Specific: Paraphernalia Click Here

”When I started using this One Proven Method, I began to experience tremendous growth and positive changes in my own recovery.”  Rev. Stephen J. Murray, MCRC, NICD Director See this link for more about our Director and Founder 

Ordering is easy!
Go to



V. a) Chart Version of Signs and Symptoms of Use


Stimulants (Cocaine, Ecstasy, Meth., Crystal) 

Depressants (Heroin, Marijuana, Downers)

Hallucinogens (LSD)

Narcotics (Rx. Medications)

Inhalants (Paint, Gasoline, White Out)











Sleep Deprivation



Motor Skills






Vital Signs











Constricted Pupils





Dilated Pupils 














Poor Hygiene




Memory Affected





Time Perception





Speech Problems







Flat Affect


Food/Water Intake Disrupted


Needle Marks





Mood Swings





Difficulty Focusing















Attention Impairment





Note: These are the most common signs and symptoms; however, each individual changes their signs by how much they have taken, what time they took it, and if other drugs were mixed together.

Keep in mind, that you may not find drugs, if you are searching for them, but you can usually find the paraphernalia associated with use.


VI. Specific: Drug Facts- Includes identifiers, definitions,

language of users and dealers.

Drug Terms

Slang and Street Terms


VII. Specific: Articles and Other Resources (This is the link for brain chemistry and the drug user) (This link is for signs and symptoms) (Here is a page filled with hotline numbers) (Here is a good site that specializes in inhalant use)


VIII. Specific: Drug Pictures/Resources from the DEA



Narcotics of Natural Origin


Semi-Synthetic Narcotics


Synthetic Narcotics


Narcotics Treatment Drugs



Controlled Substances Uses and Effects (Chart)
Gamma Hydroxybutric Acid
Chloral Hydrate
Glutethimide 7 Methaqualone

Newly Marketed Drugs




Hashish Oil

Psilocybin & Psiocyn and Other Tryptamines
Peyote & Mescaline
MDMA (Ecstasy) & Other Phenethylamines
Phencyclidine (PCP) & Related Drugs




IX. Specific: NICD Topics

Do you have questions relating to addiction /

addictions / substance abuseContact Us...

Health Info and Videos                                                                                                                             
Medical issues updated weekly.

Family                                                                                                                                                              Resources for the family, intervention information,

support, and counseling. 

Medical                                                                                                                                                               Medical information, doctor and specialists directory,

terminology and dictionary of terms.

Treatment                                                                                                                                                          Treatment center locator.                                                                                                                           

Halfway Houses                                                                                                                                              National halfway house/sober living homes locator.                                                                               

Research                                                                                                                                                         A great resource for students, professionals, family,

and others.                                                       

Keywords                                                                                                                                                         Locate information on any subject relating to


Click on the icons below to contact us or visit our site map.
Contact Us!         Site Map  

NICD ABM Articles- This link will take you to articles and

resources on addictions, recovery, prevention, mental health,

medical, and spiritual issues, produced exclusively by our

Advisory Board Members for NI-COR. 


NICD News Magazine- A comprehensive News Magazine

covering the issues of addiction, addictions, recovery,

prevention, the politics of addiction, housing, funding,

treatment, family, mental health, medical, spirituality,

health and wellness, articles and video presentations,

and so much more. Sign up to receive our monthly

magazine- Click here...  Click here to submit an

article- Submit Click here to advertise on our

NCNR News Magazine, or to view our ad rates.


The Villa at Scottsdale- Providing a full continuum

of care for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.




NI-COR Recovery Link Our sister site includes information

on: signs and symptoms of use, pupil dilation chart,

exploring benefits and entitlements, discharge from

treatment, housing and aftercare planning, inmate

transition assistance, medications, employment,

and much more.

Welcome to NICD- Looking for a treatment center? Are you looking for halfway houses?

Alcoholism and the Family This medical video is brought to

you by NI-COR / Healthology. Wait for the video screen to

pop up after redirection. Please visit the links at the top of

this page for more medical and addiction videos. This video

requires WMP for playback- Get WMP


Alcohol and Drug Addiction Survival Kit

General: A series, for the individual, family, friends, employers, educators, professionals, etc. on prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, support, and other issues relating to alcoholism and drug addiction. 

1.       Prevention- Includes tips on how to talk to your kids about alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

2.       Detection of Signs and Symptoms- A guide to detection of alcohol and various drug usage.

3. Definition of Addiction- A DSM-IV definition of exactly what constitutes alcoholism and drug addiction.

4.       Intervention- Interventions can and do work. We will show you how to do it effectively. 

5. Treatment & Housing- A treatment center and halfway house locator.

6.       Support- Some guides to how to support someone while they are in treatment.

7. After Care- What to do prior to and after release from treatment.


8.       Recovery / Relapse Prevention- Addiction can surface again, in the form of relapse.


9. Other Issues- Issues to think about regarding those affected by substance abuse, as well as those around them.

10. References- A list of those who contributed to this series of articles.   


First time visitor/how to navigate this site and find what you are looking for: Click Navigate

NICD Articles

Medical Today Dr. William Gallagher takes us through his use of DNFT with his patients.

Psychotherapy Today Psychologist Jim Maclaine keeps us up to date with his articles of insight, therapy, and healing.

Counseling Today Therapist Thom Rutledge gives a creative approach to dealing with life on life's terms via his unique counseling sessions.

Big Book Bytes Author Shelly Marshall shares via the Big Book on issues

of concern  to those in recovery. All pages are set-up to copy, for use by

counselors,  professionals, sponsors, and others.



Recovery Today  Interviews of people in recovery, about alcoholism, 

drug abuse, addictions, recovery, sobriety, spirituality, wisdom, experience,

strength, and hope. Tune in monthly for new articles!!!


A.A. History Author Dick B. will take you back to a time when the recovery

rates were as high as 93%.


Journaling Today A series of informative articles by Author Doreene Clement

on how, why, and what to write about.


Spirituality Today Author Carol Tuttle takes us to new heights on our spiritual



Articles of God and Faith Features 100's of topics relating to God, faith,

spirituality, and more.


Life Today Everyday life experiences from people all over the world. Life,

Addictions, Recovery, Hope, Inspiration, Wisdom, Advice, and so much

more. Tune in on a regular basis to see what others have and are going

through. Find hope from the experiences of others. 


Steps Today Recovery Peer and Advisory Board Member Dean G. gives

a creative approach to dealing with life on life's terms via his unique

recovery sessions.


Step Work / Relapse Prevention This service is designed to assist with

step work, with quotes and pages  from the Big Book, with forms ready

to copy and utilize. There is a section devoted to relapse prevention as well.


NI-COR Captions Today Articles, reviews, and updates from our Founder.


The Steps and Action Pages This is an overview of Steps 1-12, and the

action taking pages for each.



X. Specific: Additional Articles


Additional Articles


Health and Medical News News, videos, text from the world of medicine,

health, and medical.



Ecstasy information.


How Do I Talk With My Kids About Alcohol?


How Do I talk to my kids about drugs?


How Do I talk with my teenager about drugs and alcohol?


What does a crack pipe look like?


Family assistance for substance abuse.


Addiction treatment for my teenager.


Overdose or OD Information


 XI. Specific: Overdose & Emergency Intervention Techniques

Drug Overdose

Drug overdoses can be accidental or on purpose. The amount of a drug needed to cause an overdose varies with the type of drug and the person taking it. Overdoses from prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, "street" drugs, and/or alcohol can be life-threatening. Know, too, that mixing certain medications or "street" drugs with alcohol can also kill.

Physical symptoms of a drug overdose vary with the type of drug(s) taken. They include:
 Abnormal breathing
 Slurred speech
 Lack of coordination
 Slow or rapid pulse
 Low or elevated body temperature
 Enlarged or small eye pupils
 Reddish face
 Heavy sweating
 Violent outbursts
 Delusions and/or hallucinations
 Unconsciousness which may lead to coma
(Note: A diabetic who takes insulin may show some of the above symptoms if he or she is having an insulin reaction.)

Parents need to watch for signs of illegal drug and alcohol use in their children. Morning hangovers, the odor of alcohol, and red streaks in the whites of the eyes are obvious signs of alcohol use. Items such as pipes, rolling papers, eye droppers and butane lighters may be the first telling clues that someone is abusing drugs. Another clue is behavior changes such as:
 Lack of appetite
 Mental confusion
 Mood swings
 Secretive behavior
 Social isolation
 Deep sleep


Accidental prescription and over-the-counter medication overdoses may be prevented by asking your doctor or pharmacist:
 What is the medication and why is it being prescribed?
 How and when should the medication be taken and for how long? (Follow the instructions exactly as given.)
 Can the medication be taken with other medicines or alcohol or not?
 Are there any foods to avoid while taking this medication?
 What are the possible side effects?
 What are the symptoms of an overdose and what should be done if it occurs?
 Should any activities be avoided such as sitting in the sun, operating heavy machinery, driving?
 Should the medicine still be taken if there is a pre-existing medical condition?

To avoid medication overdoses:
 Never take a medicine prescribed for someone else.
 Never give or take medication in the dark.
 Before each dose, always read the label on the bottle to be certain it is the correct medication.
 Always tell the doctor of any previous side effects or adverse reactions to medication as well as new and unusual symptoms that occur after taking the medicine.
 Always store medications in bottles with child-proof lids and place those bottles on high shelves, out of a child's reach, or in locked cabinets.
 Take the prescribed dose, not more.
 Keep medications in their original containers
 To discourage illicit drug use among children:
 Set a good example for your children by not using drugs yourself.
 Teach your child to say "NO" to drugs and alcohol. Explain the dangers of drug use, including the risk of AIDS.
 Get to know your children's friends and their parents.
 Know where your children are and who they are with.
 Listen to your children and help them to express their feelings and fears.
 Encourage your children to engage in healthy activities such as sports, scouting, community-based youth programs and volunteer work.
 Learn to recognize the signs of drug and alcohol abuse.

Questions to Ask

Is the person not breathing and has no pulse?

Perform CPR

Is the person not breathing, but has a pulse?

Perform Rescue Breathing

Is the person unconscious?


Lay the victim down on his or her left side and check airway, breathing and pulse often before emergency care. Do CPR or Rescue Breathing as needed.

Does the person have any of these signs?
 Breathing slow and shallow and/or slurring their words
Do you suspect the person has taken an overdose of drugs?

Call Poison Control Center.
 Follow the Poison Control Center's instructions.
 Approach the victim calmly and carefully.
 Walk the person around to keep him or her awake and to help the syrup
of ipecac work faster, if you were told to give this to the victim.
 Also, see "Poisoning".

Is the person's personality suddenly hostile, violent and aggressive?

Use caution. Protect yourself. Do not turn your back to the victim or move suddenly in front of him or her. If you can, see that the victim does not harm you, himself or herself. Remember, the victim is under the influence of a drug. Call the police to assist you if you cannot handle the situation. Leave and find a safe place to stay until the police arrive.

Have you or someone else accidentally taken more than the prescribed dose of a prescription or over-the-counter medication?

DO NOT perform any technique unless it is a matter of life and death! If you are unsure of what you are doing, please follow the instructions given by a 911 operator. (Note: If doctor is not available, call Poison Control Center. Follow instructions given.)

             LINK UP                    



Link With Us Form Automated link up form. Complete the form and submit.

If you provide a reciprocal link back to us you will receive "Coalition Status"

and will be listed above all other sites. Use the following link to access our

Site Description, Logo, URL, or Banner.  Link to NICD




Contribute Your Knowledge

NICD is dedicated to providing updated information on addiction, addictions,

education, issues, problems, health, depression, God, books, family, research,

medical, as well as publishing articles covering the areas of alcoholism, effects

of alcoholism, alcoholism symptoms, causes of alcoholism, genetics of

alcoholism, alcoholism statistics, teenage alcoholism, teenage drug abuse

and addiction, drug addiction, causes of drug addiction, heroin addiction, cocaine

and crack cocaine addiction, marijuana addiction, alcohol addiction, fetal alcohol

syndrome, effects of alcohol and drugs, alcohol and drug statistics, overdose, OD,

cocaine pictures, drug pictures, paraphernalia, prescription drugs, drugs, drug

information, drug testing, alcohol and drug treatment, medical terms, medical

definitions, medical dictionary, videos, diseases, doctors, health, alternative

medicine, medical advice, medical search, and so much more. If you are

interested in contributing to the directories, or providing

valuable information to our visitors please contact us



Articles and Directories for Addiction, addictions, addiction prevention, recovery, alcoholism, at NICD, Includes information and references on and about: substance abuse terminology, people intervention assistance, families page, education and health in adults, elderly and retirement ages, teens and youth help, recovery and 12-Step resources, housing, halfway house and treatment referrals, and articles and directories for additional information. Addiction and Addictions Articles, links, history, drinking and drugging careers, information, referrals for addictions, alcoholism, prevention, recovery and a focus on teens, youth, drugs, alcohol, videos, pictures.



All designs, layouts, contents, text, backgrounds, graphics, forms,

and web pages, in part or whole, are the sole property and ownership

of NICD, are subject to the Terms Of  Use, and cannot be used,

unless otherwise stated, without express written permission from

Any, and all other graphics, documents, files etc., are subject to the respective

copyrights of those agencies and organizations that have provided them, and

cannot be duplicated without their written permission to do so.