Warning Signs – you can’t see them if you don’t know what to look for, and the consequences can be drastic if you miss them altogether. It might be a sign that says “icy roads ahead” or your boss scheduling a meeting with you at 4 pm on a Friday, or it might be something slightly different that your teen daughter has been doing lately. All can be warning signs that prepare you for what’s coming – if you’ll listen.
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you might find yourself alternating between two camps: everything is a warning sign and everything is normal. Sometimes it can feel like everything your teen is doing is bizarre and unlike them, when part of this is simply growing up and creating their own identity. Sometimes you feel so used to teenage antics (or so relieved that the fighting has stopped) that you accept everything your teen does as normal. The answer, of course, lies somewhere in the middle. As a good parent you need to be aware of warning signs and to address them quickly – especially if the warning signs indicate a life-changing, life-ruining habit like drug use.
5 Tells of Drug Use
- Physical Signs – These signs may vary based on the drug, frequency, and other factors, but they’re often the first signs noticed by parents. Look for bloodshot eyes or pupils that appear to be larger or smaller than is normal. Noticeable weight gain or weight loss can also be indicative of drug use.
- Secrecy – if your teen is suddenly nervous, deceptive, or you suspect he or she may be lying to you, it could be drug-related.
- Strange Money Behaviors – Are they spending money and you’re not sure how they got it? Are they frequently asking for money and you’re not sure where it’s going? Do you suspect items, money, or valuables may be missing from your home? These are warning signs of a drug habit that is quickly getting out of control.
- Changes in Day-to-Day Behavior – If you notice that your teen is simply behaving differently than you’ve come to expect, it could be drugs. This could include things like failing grades where they once did well, losing interest in favorite activities, or changes in friend groups.
- Noticeable Mood Swings – Many parents find that the final straw is a sudden swing of aggressive behavior or an episode where their teen appears to be suspiciously upbeat or overexcited. Yes, being a teen means mood swings, even without drugs. But usually if the mood swings are extreme or seem strange, it’s indicative of a larger drug problem.
Don’t be a busy parent who misses these warning signs – to learn more about the tells of drug use and the way different drugs can affect your teen’s system & behavior check here. You won’t regret arming yourself with the knowledge that may someday save your teen’s life. If and when you suspect drug use by your teen – there is help. Teens with substance abuse addictions can find help and recovery that will last a lifetime. The first step begins with you.