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Appendix 1931.1: Physical Signs and Symptoms of Drug or Alcohol Use

CPS June 2010

When examining a child's home according to DFPS policy, the caseworker must pay attention to whether certain household items are kept in the home and how the items are used. paraphernalia associated with drug use includes simple household items such as:

  •  containers and other items used for keeping or hiding drugs, such as plastic bags, boxes, pill vials, medicine bottles, balloons, baby bottles, contraceptive boxes, condoms, CD boxes;

  •  heating implements used for preparing drugs, such as matches, burners, lighters, incense burners, and sterno cans;

  •  utensils used for preparing drugs, such as spoons, pans, ashtrays, cups, bowls, and dishes;

  •  fibers and textiles used for filtering drugs, such as socks, nylon stockings, and pieces of cotton, gauze, fine mesh, paper, and felt;

  •  antiseptic products used to prepare drugs, such as hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, bleach, ammonia, and other germicidal products;

  •  implements used when injecting drugs, such as syringes, hypodermic needles, and tourniquets;

  •  implements used for inhaling drugs, such as pipes, crushed soda cans, straws, and razor blades; and

  •  paraphernalia associated specifically with marijuana use can include: pipes, rolling paper (paper use to roll cigarettes), roach clips, "stash boxes," eye drops, and breath fresheners.

Signs of alcohol use may include:

  •  Discarded bottles.

  •  Beer cans throughout the house.

  •  Alcohol products in the refrigerator

  •  Unfamiliar or distinctive odors

  •  Cloths with small blood stains that result from needle injections

Physical indicators that a person may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol may include the following; however, they are only indicators and may actually be symptoms of other problems not connected to substance use or alcohol:

  •  Gait: Unsteady or unstable shuffling

  •  Appearance: Poor hygiene and grooming (dirty clothes; in need of bathing); tired appearance

  •  Odor: Smell of alcohol or chemicals on the person and the person's clothes

  •  Face: Flushed or puffy; broken capillaries; unnatural facial expression

  •  Eyes: Dilated pupils or small pupils; red eyes; roving eye movement; visual complaints; sensitivity to light; unusual tearing

  •  Speech: Slurred, incoherent, or disconnected

  •  Nose: Runny nose; frequent sniffing; frequent nose bleeds; puffy nose; ; red nose; cold-like symptoms;

  •  Skin: Sweaty, pasty in color or appearance; track marks

  •  Nails: Gray, blue, or ashen in color

  •  Cardiovascular: Complaints of headaches or chest pains

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