Warning Signs

How to recognize and respond to the signs of addiction.
Substance Use Disorder
Warning Signs
Physical Signs

Physical warning signs include small pupils; decreased respiratory rate; non-responsiveness; drowsy, loss or increase in appetite; weight loss or weight gain; Intense flu-like symptoms; and wearing long-sleeves or hiding arms.

Behavioral Signs

Behavioral changes in attitude and/or personality such as as tendency to avoid contact with family and/or friends; change in friends, hobbies, activities and/or sports; drops in performance at work or school; isolation and secretive behavior; as well as moodiness, irritability, nervousness, giddiness

Advanced Signs

Advanced signs of addiction include missing medication; burnt or missing spoons and/or bottle caps, syringes; small bags with powder residue; and missing shoelaces and/or belts.

Recognize, Respond, Reverse
Opioid Overdose

Warning signs of an overdose include falling asleep; loss of consciousness; shallow or no breathing; limp body (though may be rigid with fentanyl); choking or gurgling sounds; small, constricted, 'pinpoint' pupils (may be difficult to see in an emergency); pale blue or cold skin, lips, or nails (factors including skin tone could make this difficult to see).

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Video: Project COPE video on the opioid overdose crisis and overdose prevention strategies.
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Harm Reduction Saves Lives
Get involved in reducing the risks of substance use and improving the lives of those living with addiction in your community.