How to Spot The Signs Your Kid is Using Drugs
Most parents we meet tell us that they wish they knew the signs their kid was using drugs. With a bit of training, you can begin to recognize the warning signs. First off, experts agree that you should have some sense of what’s going on by examining certain elements of their daily life and most of all, use your senses.
If you suspect that you child is using drugs, a process of observing, investigating and monitoring your child is the first step.
If you’re seeing strongs signs of addiction, the next discussion with your child should be very direct – ask them point blank if they’re using substances. If you have any doubt, go to a local drug store and buy an in-home drug test kit. It is your right as a parent to demand that any child living under your roof submit to a drug test.
Use Your Nose. One sniff of your kid’s laundry should tell you a lot. Marijuana and cigarettes have strong odors that are difficult to hide. At the very, very least, you should be checking your child’s laundry. Odd smells are a pretty good reason to rouse your suspicion. It could be a new interest in deodorant or a heady smell of marijuana-laced smoke. If you don’t know what marijuana smells like, it’s time to educate yourself. We don’t suggest smoking it yourself, but you may be able to ask a friendly cop to show you a sample.
Look Them in the Eyes. When your child gets home after going out with her friends, take a close look. Pay attention to his or her eyes. Eyes will be red and heavy-lidded, with constricted pupils if they’ve used marijuana. Pupils will be dilated, and he or she may have difficulty focusing if they’ve been drinking. In addition, red, flushed color to the face and cheeks can also be a sign of drinking.
Do they have a car? Check it, too. Smell the inside of the car, check the ashtray (if your car has one) and look for evidence of drug paraphenlia, marijuana residue, rolling papers or other items that are questionable. Check every pocket, in every corner, under the floormats front and rear, in all the armrest pockets and in the trunk, including under the trunk mat.
Watch for Mood Changes. How does your teen act after a night out with friends? Are they loud and obnoxious, or laughing hysterically at nothing? Unusually clumsy to the point of stumbling into furniture and walls, tripping over their own feet and knocking things over? Sullen, withdrawn, and unusually tired and slack-eyed for the hour of night? Do they look queasy and stumble into the bathroom? These are all signs that they could have been drinking, using marijuana or other drugs.
Check their bedroom. This includes drawers, under the bed, in their desk, in high, hard to reach places and inside of any tin, box, bag, container including video game boxes, DVD cases, and so on. Paraphernalia for drug taking include roll-ups and tin boxes. For other drugs, it could be syringes and burnt teaspoons. If you see a tin box, open it and take a sniff. If it smells like tobacco, it probably is. If it smells of something else, ask your kid about it.
Look for signs of tobacco use or vaping pen use. When children or young adults start smoking or vaping, chances are high that they learned it from someone else. If not a parent, then a peer. And if your child’s peers are using tobacco or vaping, there’s a good chance that they may be using marijuana. Smoking and marijuana usage are gateways to further experimentation with illicit substances.
These things are the bare minimum you should be checking. If you’re not willing to do at least these things, you’re not doing all you could be doing.
Remember that any child living under your roof is subject to your rules and conditions. They have no rights and no say as to what you as a parent deem to be acceptable when it comes to monitoring their behavior. You must also remember that you’re their parent – not their friend – and as such, there should be little discussion or negtotiation as to what you as a parent will accept.
If you suspect your child is using substances, contact us now. Your family medical plan may cover treatment.
10 SIGNS YOUR KID IS USING DRUGS
If you child’s grades started to plumment around the time you noticed changes in his/her behaviour, you may be looking at one of the common consequences of drug addiction or use. If you kid goes from being a straight-A student to getting F’s or D’s, something’s changed. Of course, it could be linked to a number of factors, so tread carefully here.
1. The 1000-yard stare. Glazed expressions may be a sign of addiction, but with some teens, it’s hard to tell. Teenagers and twenty-somethings tend not to be the most communicative of creatures, but if your kid starts looking stoned all the time and are accompanied by any of the other factors listed, it’s entirely possible he or she is stoned.
2. Abandoning friends or new friends. Fairlycommon throughout the teenage years, but it could have a more sinister implication. If your kid starts hanging out with a different crowd who smoke and so on, it could be a phase, but it could be linked to drugs.
3. Abandoning social activities. Another potential sign of drug abuse. Kids who are using drugs would rather do that than almost anything else. Again, interests change throughout your kid’s formative years, so tread lightly. It might just be related to a change of tastes.
4. Evasive answers to questions. If your kid can’t tell you for certain where he/she has been, that can sometimes mean they’re using. Monitoring them while they’re out might seem like meddling, but any child living under your roof is subject to terms and conditions that you set.
There was a great story we saw on social media awhile ago. One parent took a picture of his kid before he went out with friends each and every time. This parent told the child he wanted to make sure he had a picture of what the child was wearing in case something bad happened. When he wanted to check to see where his kid was, he Facetimed the child, knowing full well what the child was wearing when he left. The point was that with today’s technology, there are ways to track, monitor and safeguard your child. Trust, but verify.
5. Moodiness and changes in behavior are quite common with kids who take drugs. The moody teen is a stereotype, as it turns out, is true. But if you notice that your child is jittery in the morning and calmer in the evening, he or she could be taking drugs.
6. Memory problems or an inability to pay attention can sometimes be signs of drug use. While everyone forgets things here and there, if your child has problems remembering basic things, you might need to examine this. Of course, it could also be a sign of medical issues, such as ADHD.
7. Unexplained injuries can be related to drug or alcohol use. Just as above, however, they could also be related to medical issues or even bullying.
8. Missing objects or money around your house might mean that your child might be stealing to fund a habit. Tread lightly here, as it’s just as likely to be a partner or friend stealing them.
9. Weight changes are a normal part of teen life, but rapid fluctuations could indicate an addiction. Some teens neglect to eat due to drugs or spend lunch money on an addiction rather than eat. If your child was always heavy and then, suddenly seems to have lost a great deal of weight, you should investigate further.
10. Running with the wrong crowd and staying out late might seem like typical teenage habits, but in combination with things listed above, it’s possible that this could be an indication of drug abuse. Of course, it’s most likely that the drug of choice is alcohol in this case. A parent’s instincts are usually pretty good. If your kid seems to be running with the wrong crowd, you should start monitoring the child’s behavior, recreational habits, and time out of the house as well as using the investigation methods listed above.
If you suspect your child is using substances, contact us now. We can help you find treatment.