If you are concerned that your son or daughter is using drugs, your intuition could be right. However, your child could also be suffering from a mental illness or another disorder, so be sure to seek the advice of a medical professional before coming to the conclusion that your child has a substance-use disorder. Most drug use starts out as experimental, however it can develop into an addiction based on the amount and frequency of use. It is important to talk to your children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol so they have a better awareness of the negative consequences that can come from addiction. Here are 5 signs that your son or daughter could be using drugs.
by Lara Frazier, Clean Recovery Center
1. PERSONALITY CHANGE
If your child is normally social and outgoing, but suddenly you find them quiet and withdrawn, this could be a sign of drug use. If you notice that your child has started lying to you when they used to be very honest, this could be a sign of drug use. Typically, children hide their drug use from their families. Has your child become secretive? Is he or she spending a lot of time in their room and not allowing you to enter? Do they become defensive or combative when you ask them what is going on or get upset when you show concern for their well-being? If so, your child could be using drugs.
2. CHANGE IN APPEARANCE
Drugs affect each individual in various ways. If your child used to be very well dressed and put together, but you notice they have stopped caring about their appearance, this could be a sign of drug use. Typically, people under the influence of drugs will lose interest in caring for themselves. They will appear disheveled. Check to see what changes in grooming or clothing have taken place.
3. PROBLEMS AT SCHOOL OR WORK
If your child is frequently missing school or showing up late for classes, this could be a sign of drug use. If they are calling into work and not showing up for their shifts, this could also be a sign of drug use. Be sure to notice any behavior changes in your child. Did your child used to do his homework every night at 7pm and ensure it was completed well before the due date? Has he now stopped doing his homework at the same time and turning in assignments late? This is a behavior change and it is likely that something is going on with him.
4. REQUESTS FOR MONEY
If your child is suddenly asking and/or demanding more money from you, be sure to ask what the money is for. If he or she does not have a reasonable explanation for where the money is going, do not give them any more. If you’ve noticed that money has gone missing, your child could be stealing from you and using this money to buy drugs. Your child could also be selling items from your home so be sure to check if any items have gone missing from your home.
5. ISOLATION OR UNHEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS
When people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, they pull away from the people who love them. They start to cancel plans and keep to themselves because they don’t want anyone to find out about their drug use. If your child has become isolated from you, this could be a cause for concern. Also, if your child has changed his peer group and is now hanging out with people who cause trouble, this could be a cause for concern. Peer pressure is one of the top reasons why children start using drugs. Be sure that your child is surrounding himself with people who are making decisions that are healthy vs. unhealthy.
People who struggle with addiction will often deny they have a problem. They can be reluctant to get help because they are not ready to quit. If you believe that your son or daughter is using drugs or suffering from substance-use disorder, please call us at 1-888-330-2532. We can identify the problem and offer solutions for treatment.
Lara Frazier is a truth-teller, a sobriety warrior and a writer. She is a FIERCE believer in the power of owning our stories and is a strong advocate for addiction recovery. Lara shares a story of healing: in sobriety, through addiction, in life and love, and in all the other big huge moments of fear and magic that we rarely talk about, but we should. Find more of Lara’s work on her website at www.larafrazier.com or follow her on Instagram @sillylara.