6 Signs Your Partner Is Abusing Drugs

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Do you have reason to suspect your partner is abusing drugs? If you’ve never experienced substance abuse firsthand, you might not know what to look for. We’ll go over the telltale signs your partner is abusing drugs below so you can know for sure if they need help.

Keep in mind, just having 1 or 2 of these problems doesn’t automatically mean your partner is abusing drugs. If they have several, though, you’ll want to seek assistance in getting your loved one into treatment.

1. You Notice Money Is Missing

woman looking at partner who is abusing drugs
If you’re living with your partner, you might share a bank account or grocery fund that you both contribute to. One day, you might notice that the account has been cleaned out. Where has all of your hard-earned money gone?

Unfortunately, some people who abuse drugs borrow or steal money to fund their habit.1 They’ll often take this money without asking because they’re desperate for their next hit.

2. They’re Moody or Having a Change in Behavior

Drugs can easily cause a person to experience mood swings.2 While they’re high, they might be energetic and talk very fast—so fast that it almost seems like nonsense. Then, when they start to come down, they may be in a bad mood and feel tired or sad.

Having mercurial moods can be a sign of other mental health issues, so don’t automatically pin the blame on drugs. Either way, this symptom may warrant a visit to a mental health provider.

3. They’re Keeping Secrets and Lying

As your partner in life, your loved one should be open and honest with you. After all, you love and care for each other. If you notice they start acting sneaky or suspicious, this could mean they’re on drugs.1

This is especially true if they’re trying to keep their drug abuse hidden. They may lie about where they’ve been to keep you from finding out. They may also come up with wild excuses for why they were late or missed an important outing.

4. They Want to Spend More Time Alone

Every relationship should have room for some alone time between partners. That said, if your partner is wanting to spend extreme amounts of time without your company, it’s a sign that drugs may be involved.1 They don’t want you to see them using drugs, so they’ll sneak off to be high alone.man and woman hugging in group therapy

5. They’ve Lost Interest in You

Sure, couples can fall out of love. But if everything else in your relationship is going OK, having a partner suddenly lose interest in you could be a sign of something more sinister. Instead of hanging out with you, they may have a new friend group that they prefer instead.1

They may even be cheating on you. Drugs can sometimes cloud judgment and lead to bad decision making like having unprotected sex with strangers.2

6. They’re Having Trouble at Work or School

When the problems extend to your loved one’s job or school, this might mean they’re losing themselves to drugs.2 Drugs can impair performance, make a person chronically late, or even cause them to leave in the middle of the day to get high. You might have a chat with their boss or professor to see what they think about the situation.

How to Get Help for Your Loved One

Do these signs a loved one is abusing drugs seem familiar? If so, there are ways to get help. First, you’ll want to get in touch with a healthcare professional who can talk with you about the signs you’ve noticed.3 Use a physician that has experience with addiction so they know how to handle the next steps.

Once you’ve talked with a doctor and come up with an action plan, you’ll want to confront your loved one in a gentle, caring manner. Don’t be accusatory, but rather, be open and understanding. Explain that treatment can help them get better, and do your best to convince them to use the substance abuse rehab you and the medical professional talked about.

You can help your partner overcome addiction. It just takes love and support as they work to heal.


  1. Indian Health Service. (n.d) Warning Signs of Substance and Alcohol Use Disorder.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.) What are some signs and symptoms of someone with a drug use problem?
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). How to Find Help.
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