An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Looking unhealthy

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by doatk22, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    I have 2 family members that used to be overweight and really slimmed down in a matter of a year. But something is just off to me. I feel like I have an intuition about how they look. I've seen plenty of people who lost weight and look healthy and fine. But these 2 people just look strange. It's like their skinniness looks unnatural. Have you ever looked at someone and thought they looked like they were on drugs? Just something in the face, the neck is too skinny, etc. Maybe I'm wrong, but I really feel like something is off. I wish I could explain it better.
  2. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    So, basically, they've gotten too skinny and you're considering the possibel causes? Well, there's no denying that drug abuse can make the weight fall off you but there might be other reasons too.

    Do you have any idea what their eating habits are? It could be that they are simply taking their diets a little too far. Of course, there's also the possibility of an eating disorder too. Whatever you do, try and find out a little more about the situation before making any decisions.
  3. Carnold23

    Carnold23 Community Champion

    Yes, I have looked at someone and thought that they were on drugs. People who use drugs often have a look, I can usually tell by their eyes. Something in them always looks empty... I saw it in myself when I used drugs.
    However, I think you should talk to your family members before jumping to conclusions. There are many other reasons why they may be looking unhealthy. Maybe they need a little help and were just waiting for someone to ask
    Paul likes this.
  4. lexinonomous

    lexinonomous Community Champion

    You very well might be wrong, but if your intuition is telling you something, you're probably right. There are plenty of people that take it too far with weightloss, but there are also people that have lost weight after turning to drugs. I would also take into consideration that they might have an eating disorder. Do you feel comfortable enough to bring it up to them? Depending on the family member, I would more than likely ask them if they were okay.
    doatk22 likes this.
  5. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    You've explained it well enough and I've seen it and spoken about it here. I got a bit of a beating but in the end the person told me he knew he was using too much and I believe he's looking much better last time I saw him. In this case you are basically guessing. If it's a case where you feel you need to intervene maybe you should just ask. I don't know but if something bothers me enough, I usually find a pleasing way to address it.

    It's a sensitive matter so think this through before you proceed. You might be so off base but if it bothers you enough act and hope for a favourable outcome. All the best. Let's hope it's diet or exercise.
  6. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think there's a certain "look" to some drug addicts. I'm mainly thinking of meth, because I feel like there's just a lot of telltale facial changes that happen when a person uses it.

    It's hard to say though. Apart from the weight loss have those people had any other changes in behavior? If it's just weight loss and they're looking unhealthy, maybe they've gone about their weight loss too rapidly and it's showing as an overall unhealthy appearance.
  7. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I get what you're trying to say. I have also noticed the same thing with some of my friends. It's like they went through something really stressful in life that somehow made them look too skinny in an unhealthy way. I don't want to assume, but sometimes I think it was drugs that caused them to look like that.
    doatk22 likes this.
  8. JayLyn

    JayLyn Active Contributor

    Yes, I do know what you are saying. I have seen people who were very heavy become slim suddenly and I have suspected drug use and later found out that I was right, but you have to be careful with this. I have lost weight on occasion when I wasn't using but because I lost the weight because of stress and anxiety, I still had the unnatural look of having lost weight rapidly. I have also had people ask me in not very kind ways about my weight when I have been unnaturally thin and it didn't feel very good because first of all I was dealing with a lot of stress and then to top it off to have people point out how awful I looked and then to insinuate that I got that way because of drugs, well, it just didn't feel good. Either way, if your friends don't look well to you and you think something might be wrong, then maybe try to find a caring way to ask if everything is all right.
    doatk22 likes this.
  9. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I could also see some people around who looks skinny different as you want to describe in here. That look that they are most probably addicts cause they look sickly thin. Although still hard to just judge by looking cause they could be really just sick to look that way and not addicts.
  10. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    You issue can see it in and around their eyes. They are usually dark and sicken and empty looking. I remember a few years back I lost a lot of weight by eating healthy and walking. I felt great but I can't tell you how many people asked me if I was okay or if I was sick. I even heard the rumor going around that I was on drugs and I never used drugs in my life. I was quite hurt and offended by that.
  11. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    Sometimes people can be really skinny, but still look healthy, but there are times when a person is really thin and they look sick, not healthy at all.
    Sometimes though, if we are used to a person being a certain bigger size, seeing them skinny throws us off a bit, until we get used to them looking that way. Even if they lost weight in the most healthy of ways, and are not sick, they still can look unfamiliar to us at their new weight.
    You might have to talk to them, just so that you can feel better. It might be an uncomfortable conversation, but you just have to let them know that you aren't trying to be offensive, you're just concerned. Then, hear what they have to say.
  12. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    For me, it can be difficult to judge whether a person is skinny because of drugs or just plain skinny. What gives most drug addicts away, at least for me, is the look in their eyes and their behaviour. But of course, we cannot certainly say that this one person is an addict just by our assumptions and judgment. And that's one of the hardest parts especially for a loved one. It has to come from them, they have to admit their addiction. You can open it up, the topic or issue, but denial is certainly going to happen.

    And when they do admit it, that's the time that they are ready for help. In the meantime, all we can do is give them support and love. Show them that if they are ready, we're just here to help them and accept them. Because change and acceptance has to come from the addict himself.
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Just because a person as lost a lot of weight, I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that they must be in drugs. A member of my family lost nearly 9 stone, and went from being obese, to a healthy weight, and that happened a lot quicker than anybody thought it would, including himself, so it can vary from person to person.

    Rapid weight loss CAN be a sign of drug abuse, but it can also be a sign of a lot of other things also.
  14. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Some people don't eat enough. I don't think its really about drugs. I mean some people live on cigarettes and maybe drugs but its not necessarily the case. I believe its more about them not actually eating properly than just looking at someone and saying they are on drugs. Drugs can cause deficiencies though.
  15. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I have developed my sensory acuity to the point where I can often tell if someone is using substances just by looking at them and I can usually tell what substance it is that they are using. However, everybody is different and there could be other reasons. Of course, drugs put a lot of stress on the body and mind and therefore excess stress and suchlike can cause people to lose weight rapidly. You never know what someone is going through in life. There are multiple stressful life situations than can make someone look like they are on drugs - they may be struggling with other issues like stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, bad news or perhaps just going through a difficult period in life. Best thing to do is simply ask them if they are okay and find out what the response is.
  16. anorexorcist

    anorexorcist Community Champion

    I understand you, sadly I've "met" some people lately (most of them teens) who just look bad, they are also really skinny, their eyes look kind of lost, and there's something about their skin and hair too...
    If you're really close to them you can try and talk with them about it, but I'm not really sure how are they going to react, just let them know that you're there for support them, I think that's the only thing that you can do.
  17. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I haven't seen any of your relatives to judge if they lost weight due to exercise or due to drugs, but if I were you I would just observe them secretly if there are any changes in their behavior or if they don't have any appetite most of the time. Who knows, maybe they just took some slimming pills or tea? You ought to observe their behavior closely to see if they are indeed using drugs.