How Do I Know if My Child is Taking Drugs?
The worry a parent feels if they suspect their child or teen is using drugs is huge. The sign of a loving parent is to notice that their children are acting differently and that it could be drugs or alcohol causing it. The first step is to identify the signs of drug use and then to be ready to communicate with your child by addressing drugs and alcohol in a non-threatening way. For example, a parent can ask their child, “What have your experiences with drugs and alcohol been like”? This format allows them to answer without feeling accused or in trouble.
Non-confrontational communication will allow your child/teen to feel comfortable opening up about drugs.
Understanding the Risk Factors for Addiction
As a parent, it is critical to understand if your child may be at risk for addiction. Experts now know what will make a person more predisposed to getting addicted to drugs and alcohol. Addiction is a complex disease of the mind and emotions that stem from specific risk factors as influencers. The influencers that will make someone subject to developing an addiction or problem using a substance are grouped into four categories.
1) Trauma as experiences of abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence.
2) Family history of addiction (genetic link).
3) Environmental influencers, which is the presence of or exposure to drugs/alcohol in the home or environment.
4) An undiagnosed or diagnosed mental or emotional health disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use
Stanford University conducts advanced research about children’s health, including drug use and alcohol use. They recommend looking for the following signs of drug use to help determine if your child is possibly using drugs. Your child may be using alcohol or drugs if you notice a dramatic change in the teen’s appearance, friends, or physical health. These are other possible signs:
- Evidence of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia
- Behavioral problems and poor grades in school
- Emotional distancing, isolation, depression, or fatigue
- Overly influenced by peers
- Hostility, irritability, or change in the level of cooperation around the house
- Lying or increased evasiveness about after-school or weekend whereabouts
- Decrease in interest in personal appearance
- Physical changes, such as bloodshot eyes, runny nose, frequent sore throats, and rapid weight loss
- Changes in mood, eating, or sleeping patterns
- Dizziness and memory problems
- Unusual odor on breath (alcohol, inhalants, marijuana)
- Widely dilated pupils even in bright light
- Pinpoint pupils even in dim light (Stanford University)
Where to Begin If My Child Is on Drugs?
The programs available for younger age groups must be evidence-based and provided by professionals who treat teens and younger people. In addition, children at risk for developing an addiction but may not have begun using drugs may also benefit from therapy and counseling. The centers we connect patients with providing the following therapy and group types led by behavioral therapists, drug addiction counselors, or psychiatrists to treat drug use and addiction in young adults, teens, and youth include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy
- Holistic Therapy
- Group Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Personalized Treatment and Therapy Plans
Call Now for Same Day Admission to Drug Treatment at Evoke Wellness MA
To learn about the young-adult, teen, and youth drug and alcohol rehab options, reach out to one of our specialists. Our specialists are trained to assess you or a loved one over the phone in a brief 5-minute conversation to determine the most helpful program. Drugs can quickly destroy your child’s life. We urge and support you to help them right now. We make admission fast and affordable. Call now for priority admission and chat or email for more help and guidance.