Have you noticed some changes in your teenager that are causing you to believe they are using drugs? Identifying drug use in teens is difficult, as there are so many physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes happening in that period of their lives.
However, suspected drug use should never be ignored. Keep reading to find out a few things to keep an eye out for in order to identify a drug problem or drug use.
Changes in Regular Habits and Behavior
Teen drug use will often, but not always, result in a change of habits and behavior. It’s possible you will notice new friends or a loss of old ones. Look for a change in appetite, overeating or not eating at all, notice whether their grades have dropped significantly. If you’re concerned, you can speak to teachers and find out if there is a change in behavior that they have recognized.
Look out for behavior that may indicate illegal drug use. This would include disappearing for a long period of time, a loss of interest in school and hobbies, secretive behavior, and cashflow problems. Is your child always asking you for money? Breaking curfew and going through periods of sleeplessness followed by heavy sleeping?
Changes in Personality
Most teenagers go through a rollercoaster of personality shifts. However, it may be a sign of drug use. Identify if your child has become withdrawn or depressed, less motivated and communicative, dishonest, and secretive.
They may become unusually elated or hyperactive or hostile and angry.
Changes in Physical Appearance
Have you noticed some drastic hygiene and appearance changes? Poor hygiene, unexplained bruises, bloodshot eyes, and flushed cheeks may be a sign of drug use.
Heroin or injectable drugs will leave track marks on their arms. Are they always wearing long sleeves even when it’s hot? Have you noticed tremors or nosebleeds/runny noses that could indicate snorting drugs?
Lookout for Drug Paraphernalia
The most obvious and blatant way of knowing that your teen is using drugs is if you find drug paraphernalia in your home. You may find smoking devices, eye drops, syringes or containers, and wrappers. You may also recognize that your prescription drugs and alcohol are being pillaged.
What to Do if You Think Your Child is Using Drugs
Remember that teenagers go through a lot of changes, physically and emotionally. Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. First, keep a watchful eye. Use your nose when they come home to try and identify the smell of alcohol or marijuana. Pay close attention to their eyes, noticing if they are red or the pupils are dilated.
If you suspect illegal drug use or legal drug addiction, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to approach them. Remember, ask questions directly. Give them the opportunity to have an honest conversation about suspected drug use.
If you believe your child is being dishonest with you, you can get them screened for drugs at a doctor or use a home drug testing kit.
If Needed, Get Help
If your teen is using drugs, the most important thing is to be supportive and work to get them help. This could mean a detox or rehabilitation problem, seeing a psychologist, or setting new boundaries within the home.
If you’re concerned about recovery for your child, contact us today and find out how we can help.