Every parent worries about their child. From school bullies to tests, tryouts, their first driver’s license, and their first broken heart, every good parent does what they can, teaches what they know, and hopes for the best. If you suspect that your teen is using drugs, it is important to verify this fact and address the situation as soon as you possibly can.
Experimenting with drugs out of curiosity is extremely common among teens but can grow into something much larger and much more sinister in the blink of an eye if you are not careful. The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a survey and found out that in a study of 46,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders approximately 13 percent, 30 percent, and 40 percent respectively had admitted to using drugs or alcohol at least one time in the past year.
If you suspect that your teen might be using narcotics, there are some signs that you should be looking for.
Changes in Behavior
Now, this can be a tricky assessment because teens can be sneaky, defiant, or withdrawn creatures without any help from drugs of any kind. The metamorphosis from a child into an adult is a tough and confusing time in everyone’s life. Just because one day your adolescent’s favorite color was green and she enjoyed pop music and suddenly she wears all black and listens to death metal does not mean that she is guilty or drug use.
There are, however, plenty of behavioral signs that you should be aware of if they turn up, that way you can keep an eye on the situation. These traits include suddenly poor academic performance, a drastic change in social circles, a sudden disinterest in things they used to love, unexplained periods of absence, becoming defiant and/or hostile, and avoiding eye contact.
Being vigilant about drastic changes in your teenager’s behavior could result in nothing more than an awkward trip to the doctor, but it could also stop your child from heading down the wrong path.
Keeping an eye out for substantial changes in the health of your teen can also provide clues to whether or not they have started using drugs. Just like with the changes in behavior, some health issues are just health issues and, while still deserving of the proper medical treatment, do not indicate drug use.
Signs that could indicate a potential drug problem include seizures with no history of epilepsy, nosebleeds, coordination issues, rapid weight loss or weight gain, sleep disturbances, and frequent illness.
Just like every drug is different, every teenager is different as well. It is so important to remember that sudden changes in your teenager’s behavior or apparent health do not automatically indicate that they have begun using or have been using drugs.
More conclusive evidence that should draw major concern would be things like finding physical drugs or drug-related paraphernalia, noticing that other family member’s medications have gone missing, or the sudden disappearance of other items, such as money, credit cards, and valuables.
The more of these signs that are present in your teen, the stronger an indication of drug use. It is important to keep an open, judgment-free line of communication with your child. Openly discuss the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. Talk about the long and short-term effects that the use of drugs and alcohol will have on their physical health. Encourage your child to ask any questions that they may have and if you don’t know the answer, the two of you can find it out together.
If your child or someone that you love is thinking about rehab, we encourage you to reach out to us at Discovery Place and speak with someone about our various treatment options such as alternative detox, and long term alternative treatment. Don’t let the cycle of addiction control your life any longer. Give us a call at (800)-725-0922 and speak with a qualified professional about how we can help you and your family.