What follows is not going to be earth-shattering to most cops. This is more for you parents out there.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “The eyes are the window to the soul”. As it turns out, they’re also the window to a possible indication that someone may be under the influence of an illegal substance. There are quite a few different indicators that we in law enforcement rely on to indicate whether or not someone may be under the influence of either alcohol or drugs…and in some cases, both.
I’ve been to a 40-hour course that solely covered DUI investigations. I’ve made dozens of arrest for DUI. I’ve also arrested people for driving under the influence of narcotics, whether illicit or prescribed. I just finished a 24-hour course on Drug Abuse Recognition. I am now much more comfortable in my abilities to pursue those investigations as well.
What does that have to do with you parents? You don’t need any specialized training to recognize when/if your “precious little (insert name here)” is abusing drugs.
Drug users can mask a number of their symptoms/behaviors. Much like the drunk driver will pop in some gum thinking that will cover up the odor of an alcoholic beverage, the drug user will almost always try to pull a fast one on loved ones. The one thing they can’t control is their eyes.
Different drugs will affect the pupils in different ways. Stimulants (cocaine, meth, etc) and hallucinogens (LSD, Ecstasy) will cause the pupils to dilate or be “blown”. Opiates, like heroin, will cause the pupils to constrict. Stimulants will show a very slow reaction to light; whereas opiates may have little to no visible reaction to light. Hallucinogens may vary depending on the type.
The eye is made up of a lot of fine muscles and different drugs will affect those muscle’s ability to function properly. I’ve always been a big fan of looking folks in the eye when I’m talking to them. Parents, don’t be afraid to look your kids in the eye and if you have any concerns about them possibly abusing drugs, there are a number of different organizations that can help you…including us.
Featured Image courtesy of Flickr and stereoke