Looking for signs. Drug abuse leads to many changes.
If your child is using alcohol or drugs, there’s a good chance he is doing everything possible to keep that activity hidden.
The last thing he wants is for his parents to give him a hard time about his new “entertainment.”
The continued use of alcohol or drugs will affect your child’s behavior, attitudes, and choice of friends.
There are many signs to look for:
Changes in eating and sleeping habits.
- Difficulty falling asleep, insomnia; sleeping habits have changed — up all night, sleeping during the day, inappropriate napping.
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- * Poor appetite or sudden taste for sweets.
- * Spends nights in unsupervised homes.
Changes in physical appearance.
- Lack of personal cleanliness.
- Red eyes.
- Runny nose, congestion, coughing.
- Wearing dark glasses when not necessary.
- Pale face, circles under eyes.
Changes in behavior.
- Abrupt changes in mood.
- Hostility, defiance of rules.
- Depressed, secretive, displaying an “I don’t care” attitude.
- Lack of responsibility, forgetting family occasions.
- Blaming, lying, making excuses.
- Memory loss, shortened attention span.
Changes in friends and interests.
- New friends who display receptiveness to drugs.
- Friends rarely come to your house.
- More time spent in bedroom or out of the house.
- Hobbies, sports and after-school activities are ended.
- Stays out past curfew or sneaks out at night to join friends.
Changes in school or job performance.
- Falling asleep in class.
- Frequent tardiness and absenteeism.
- Lowered grades, neglected homework.
- Quitting or getting fired from jobs.
Don’t be afraid to be a strong parent if you suspect your child is using alcohol or drugs.
Talk to your child. Choose a time when there will be no interruptions. Avoid talking when your child is high.
Do not be misled by these responses from your child:
“I’ve only tried it once.”
“It’s not mine.”
“I was just holding it for a friend.”
“Everyone is doing it.”
“It’s only a little pot.”
Remember, drug abuse occurs in families of all economic and social backgrounds — in happy and unhappy homes alike. The faster you act in helping your child, the sooner your child can start to become well again.
Learn more about other intervention techniques. Click here for more info.