The best way to support your child against their fight with addiction is to detect the signs early on. Here are 8 signs that someone is on drugs.
Drug addiction is a horrible disease which destroys people’s lives. 1 in 10 people in the US has a problem with addiction and drug abuse continues to be on the rise.
Most recent studies have shown that 9.4% of Americans over 12 years old have used drugs within the past month. These statistics are even more terrifying if you’re a parent.
If you suspect your child is using drugs, you need to be there to help them. Drug addiction can ruin their bodies and minds and could destroy their whole life. To start, you need to look for the signs that someone is on drugs.
Signs That Someone Is On Drugs
Being a parent is a wild ride. One minute you’re enjoying long car journeys together going on a new adventure. The next you’re screaming at them for misbehaving.
But sometimes it gets way more serious than that. If they’re taking drugs, it’s a problem that you must address properly and needs a lot of care. There are so many drugs that people can get addicted to and there are rehabs which can help.
America is currently in the midst of an opioid and benzodiazepine crisis. It’s damaging lots of lives and if your child uses drugs like these, it’s time to seek help.
Here are 8 ways to tell if they’re using drugs.
1. They Isolate Themselves
It’s not unusual for teenagers to spend more time in their rooms or want to be alone more often. But if they are doing so more than usual and you rarely see them, it could be a sign of addiction.
If your child doesn’t want to leave their room or speak to you or others, it may present a problem. If they sneak out or come back home late without telling you, you may need to talk to them.
Approach it carefully, if they feel judged they’ll isolate themselves further. Let them know you’re concerned and that you care about them.
2. They’re Secretive
In a similar vein, they may become much more secretive. They may begin to insist you don’t enter their room under any circumstance or hide things from you.
If you ask them what they’ve been doing or where they are, they may keep it a secret. Addicts often want to hide their addiction so they can continue to use. They won’t be forthcoming with this kind of information.
If they continue to keep secrets and hide things from you, this is a big sign of an addiction problem.
3. They Lie to You
As well as secretive behavior, they may also begin to lie to you and others more. This behavior is to keep their addiction protected and continue using without hindrance.
They may also lie about their whereabouts or what they’re doing. When confronted, they may get very defensive or even aggressive about it.
It may be easy to catch them in a lie or you may fall for it sometimes. But continued lying is a huge sign that something is wrong.
4. Their School Performance Suffers
It’s only natural for us to want our kid to get the best grades at school. You used to hand their report card on the fridge with pride, but now it’s changed.
If you notice a significant decline in their school performance, this could also be a sign. They may be slacking off or playing truant so their grades fall.
Of course, there are lot of things that can contribute to low performance. Anything from troubles at home to learning difficulties like ADHD dyslexia. But it could also be an early sign of addiction.
5. Look Out for Physical Signs
Being on drugs carries a lot of physical signs too. Depending on what they’re using, there’s lots to look out for.
Keep an eye on their pupils, are they dilated or are their eyes red? Is their speech slurred or movements clumsy? Do they sleep in a lot or have they lost a lot of weight recently? Are they sick more often and do they get twitchy? These are a lot of clear signs of addiction.
There are a lot of physical signs and these are only the most noticeable. If their physical appearance is a clear concern, it’s time to take action.
6. They Engage in Risky Behavior
Risky behavior comes along with the territory, they’re using illegal drugs after all. Along with this, they may be taking other dangerous risks.
Lots of addicts will engage in unprotected sex and be at risk of STD or unwanted pregnancies. They may engage in violent or aggressive behaviors more often too.
Another big sign of addiction is if you notice they’ve been stealing. Are you missing money or possessions? They could be stealing to fund their habit, and it’s a common trait of a drug addict.
7. A New Friend Group
A new friend group may also be a sign. Have they fallen out with people they were once close to? Do new faces and names keep cropping up that you’ve never met before?
It could be a new friend group that has gotten them into drugs. If you do meet them and get a bad vibe from them, they could be trouble for your child.
Don’t ban them from contact or restrict them, it’ll only make things worse. Let your child know that you’re concerned and they may re-evaluate these people. It could be nothing, but it’s something to take note of.
8. Their Personality Has Changed
Your child was once so happy, bubbly and outgoing, but where has that person gone? Now your child is a shell of that person and has had a personality transplant.
If this rings true to you, it could be another sign. Are they quick to anger and fly off the handle at the slightest thing?
Of course, there could be other reasons for this. They may be feeling depressed or anxious. But try to talk to them in a calm, non-judgemental environment. Let them know how much you love and care about them and encourage them to open up.
Get Your Child The Help They Need
If your child has an addiction to drugs, they need serious help now. If these signs that someone is on drugs ring true to you, reach out for help.
Addiction is a dark path and they’re going to need a lot of support and love from you. But you can get through this together and overcome addiction.
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