These days, especially with the heroin crisis still raging across America, it is wise to be able to notice signs of drug use in your teenager. We see in the news everyday how this can cripple individuals, and also take down families who were otherwise functioning well. You would be wise to make sure your teen does not take any prescription opiates or opioids, as this is a very common way that people, no matter what their age, get started on street drugs after getting hooked by taking prescriptions.
For more information specific to heroin, go here. If you want more information on how teens get addicted to drugs together with risk factors, go here. These are all excellent and informative articles from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Here are 5 signs that your teen may be addicted:
Partnership for Drug-Free kids tells us to use your nose. Have open conversations with your teen, especially after they socialize with friends. If there has been drinking and smoking going on, you should be able to detect the smells.
Also, do not be afraid to look your teen in the eyes. The eyes can be revealing: if using marijuana, eyes may appear red and pupils may be constricted. If the pupils are dilated, they may have trouble focusing if they have been drinking. A flush in their faces may be a sign of drinking.
Be on the lookout for mood changes. Of course, teens can be moody, even without using any type of drug! So, watch for these especially after they socialize with friends; if they are unusually clumsy, tripping, etc., this could be a significant warning sign.
If you are suspicious, do not hesitate to search their room. After all, you are the parent and your teen should not be ruling the roost. You may notice odors coming from their rooms, or freshener smells in an effort to mask other smells, like marijuana and cigarette smoke.
Again, if you are suspicious that your teen is using, search for paraphernalia, especially in their rooms. Some good hiding places are dresser draws beneath or between clothes, desk drawers, under beds, between a mattress and box spring, between books on a shelf or within the pages of a book, etc.
Again, your teen should not be ruling the roost. If you are in an avoidance pattern due to your teen’s explosive behavior, isn’t it better to know what is going on so you can get your teen help? Check his or her cell phone and/or other digital devices. Are there frequent contacts? Check out social media as well.
By the way, if you are interested in learning how to help your child (and you) participate in social media in a safe manner, also learning the pluses and minuses of social media use, go here. And if you want to learn more information about signs of drug use, go here.
Remember – better safe than sorry!