After years of teaching your children to stay away from drugs and alcohol, it can be one of your worst nightmares to have a strong suspicion that your teen is using drugs. Suspicion that your child is using can come on gradually after you begin to notice a few small signs, such as missing money, your teen’s sudden interest in increased privacy or strange smells. Or, the suspicion may develop suddenly after coming across drugs or paraphernalia belonging to your child. The following list includes the top nine signs that your teen is using drugs.
1. Missing money
Often, a parent first begins suspecting teen drug use following a series of instances where money goes missing. You may begin noticing that loose change out of the family change jar begins disappearing, or you may discover larger quantities of money missing from your purse or wallet. In addition, your son or daughter may suddenly begin asking for more money, despite not being able to tell you where his or her allowance money has been going.
2. Increased use of perfumes, cologne, air fresheners or incense
If you suddenly begin noticing that your teen has been using a larger amount of cologne or perfume, he or she may be attempting to disguise the smell of smoke on clothing or skin. Drug use in the teen’s bedroom may be disguised by an increase in the use of air fresheners or incense.
3. Declining school or work performance
One of the most important signs of drug use is declining school or work performance. If your teen’s grades are suddenly dropping or you are receiving notifications of work or school absences that you weren’t aware of, drug use may be one explanation.
4. Bloodshot eyes or an increase in the use of eye drops
Oftentimes, drug use or smoke may cause bloodshot or dilated eyes that are easily noticeable in teens. Many times, drug users may attempt to reduce or disguise bloodshot or dilated eyes with eye drops.
5. Teen’s bedroom suddenly becomes strictly off limits
Most teens begin requesting more privacy during adolescence. However, drug use should be suspected if your child’s bedroom suddenly becomes off limits or if you notice your teen becoming extremely agitated or upset when you attempt to clean his or her room or laundry.
6. Sudden change in who your teen spends time with
For years, your teens have likely associated with a particular group of friends who have become familiar to you. If you suddenly notice that your teen has dropped all of his or her former good friends, or your child is suddenly hanging out with a new crowd of teens that seem to have an interest in drug use or delinquent behavior, the use of drugs, or the likelihood of becoming involved in drug use, should be suspected.
7. Increased sleep or erratic behaviors
Many drugs have side effects that include excessive drowsiness or fatigue, in addition to erratic, manic or unusual behaviors.
8. Sudden personality changes
If your naturally uptight teen has suddenly become more mellow, or if your easy-going child has turned into an angry individual, it is possible that drugs may be to blame.
9. Finding drugs or paraphernalia
One of the most obvious pieces of evidence of drug use is coming across drugs or paraphernalia in your child’s room, backpack or clothing.
If you suspect or know that your teen is involved with drug use, call us for a free confidential consultation. We are committed to helping your teen overcome these challenges so he or she can grow and thrive. We offer our services at no cost to you. We specialize in working with parents to determine the best possible treatment for their struggling children.