Many adolescents and teens will likely be exposed to drugs and alcohol at some point. In fact, nearly 40% of American teens have been impacted by substance use. If this occurs when a teen is going through a rough time, there is a higher likelihood that he or she will be tempted to use drugs and alcohol to cope. These substances can have a very negative impact on brain development when used at an early age. Also, substance use can severely limit important decision-making skills, potentially jeopardizing a youth’s safety.
Coming to the realization that your child is engaging in substance abuse is one of the toughest challenges a parent or caregiver can face. But how can you know if your child is actually using drugs or alcohol? There are many indicators that a child could be engaging in substance use, and all are very important to consider when determining if your child needs assistance. Above all, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Many youth today experiment with drugs, and there is always hope and a way to get help.
8 Warning Signs Your Child May Be Using Drugs:
- A loss of interest in activities that your child used to enjoy engaging in.
- Your child is spending increasing amounts of time away from home and is reluctant to tell you where they are.
- There is drug paraphernalia in your child’s room. This may include pipes, bongs, plastic water bottles with pipes sticking out of them, rolled up dollar bills, pill bottles or needles.
- Odd smells in your child’s room or on your child’s clothes. Marijuana has a very distinct smell that you may be able to recognize.
- Your child locking the door to their room and using spray cans or deodorant to drown out possible odors.
- Sudden changes in behaviors and mood swings.
- Memory problems and difficulties remembering things or forgetting about time.
- Frequent dishonesty and difficulties answering questions.
Where to Get Help
Seeking the assistance of a professional clinician could prove invaluable. Professionals who treat substance use in adolescents can provide a level of care that ensures recovery while equipping them with the tools and resources to stay healthy in the long term. If you are concerned about your child’s moods or behaviors, take our free Quick Assessment. Learn what your child’s behaviors may mean and whether you need to seek counseling, therapy or other psychiatric treatment. Download it now.