Signs Your Child is Using Drugs

79167651When adolescents are using drugs they usually go to great lengths to hide it from their families. But there are always signs that give it away.

The Health, Behavioral and Psychological Indicators of Drug Abuse

If your instincts tells you something is going on with your son or daughter it probably is. But it may not have anything to do with drugs or alcohol, which is why you have to be very careful before jumping to conclusions or making accusations.

This list isn’t intended to be complete and definitive. However, these are some of the surest indicators of drug abuse and they are signs that you as a mom or dad cannot afford to ignore.

       Health-Related Indicators

  • Nighttime insomnia combined with frequent daytime naps.
  • Bad breath or unexplained chemical-like odors on clothing.
  • Neglect of normal grooming practices.
  • Bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils.
  • Frequent injuries or bruises that he or she can’t or won’t explain.
  • A loss of motor skills plus shakes, tremors or incoherent speech.
  • Sudden weight gain or loss.

       Behavioral Indicators

  • Rapid decline in academic performance, revealed by poor grades or reports of missed classes or school days.
  • Old friends replaced by new ones that parents have never met (and introductions are not forthcoming).
  • Missing money, valuable items or prescription pills, all of which your child had access to.
  • Loss of interest in treasured hobbies, sports or other extracurricular activities at school.
  • Secretive behavior, locked doors and excessive demands for privacy.
  • Frequently getting into fights or arguments with friends, teachers or family members.
  • A sudden affection for incense, perfume, air freshener or other odor-masking agents.

       Psychological Indicators

  • Sudden mood swings occurring on a daily basis.
  • Memory loss or difficulty in concentrating.
  • Hyperactivity or agitation without apparent cause.
  • Loss of motivation and drive along with other signs of depression.
  • Unpleasant personality changes, such as short-temperedness, defensiveness or paranoia.

One or two of these symptoms may not be cause for worry. But if several apply to your child substance abuse could very well be the problem.

The Threat is Real, Take it Seriously

All parents have a healthy fear of drugs. We know the damage they can cause in our kids’ lives, but no matter how hard we try to protect our children we know drugs are everywhere and that young people will be tempted to experiment.

So it is better to keep your eyes open and stay alert at all times, and if you do see signs of drug abuse you need to sit down and talk to your son or daughter right away. These conversations can be difficult but they are essential and it is your responsibility as a parent not to turn a blind eye to the truth.

Follow our blog for more insights and advice about substance abuse and behavioral health.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Signs Your Child is Using Drugs

  1. While I agree with you, I suffer from all of those things and have never touched a drug in my life and I am 45. The only thing I take are my scripts at low levels and have always had dilated pupils, bad breath until brushing and insomnia. Great post:)

  2. A lot of good information here. Something essential that wasn’t mentioned or focused on is that drug use is a coping mechanism for underlying issues. As a former teenage addict, I had a number of emotional and cognitive challenges that were the real issue. I’d suggest approaching our kids about underlying issues is much more effective. It shows we care about how their feeling and want to be in touch with their true self. Not focusing on the drug use is much more effective. If you point to problems like drug use, you’ll push them away. Focus on them, focus on their feelings and start from there. The drug use will eventually come up. They’re ashamed of it regardless of what they say.

    Another very important thing to keep in mind is that parents or caregivers must ensure they practice what they preach or the teens will smell the bullshit and insincerity along with the hypocrisy.

    So what’s the lie behind the lie? Drug use isn’t the problem it’s the solution.

    Find out what the problem is and address it.

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