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Midwest City police captain explains how to tell if person is high on drugs

Midwest City police Capt. David Huff spoke to a group of Oklahoma Department of Human Services employees about how to identify drugs and what to do if they come across someone who is under the influence of drugs.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: February 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm •  Published: March 1, 2013

Capt. David Huff has a long list of things people have used as drug pipes.

“If you name an item, I've seen it where people smoke out of it,” Huff said. “A used light bulb, a Mountain Dew bottle, a socket from a wrench set — if they can put (drugs) in it, light it and inhale the vapors, they'll do it.”

Huff, investigations division commander for the Midwest City Police Department, taught Oklahoma Department of Human Services employees, along with members of the public, Wednesday how to identify illegal and prescription drugs.

Huff talked about a variety of drugs, ranging from cocaine and meth to toad licking and Jimson weed. He also explained some of the signs and symptoms of a person who is under the influence of drugs.

For example, “nystagmus” is a term used to describe when a person's eyes are shifting quickly back and forth without their control.

This occurs sometimes when someone has taken a variety of drugs, Huff explained. However, there are some rare medical conditions that can cause nystagmus.

“Several drug categories cause this,” Huff said. “If you see this with someone, there's a good chance they're under the influence of something.”

DHS hosted the event to give their employees an opportunity to learn about the types of drugs they might come into contact with when entering people's homes, said Connie Schlittler, the DHS director of planning, research and statistics.

“They want to know, if their clients are using, how to identify it, so this was really a way to increase their skills and knowledge,” she said.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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