How to find out if your teenager is addicted to drugs?

Parenting TipsParents & FamilyChild CarePsychologyGeneral Topics

A drug is any substance that causes a physiological change in the body when inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed or absorbed. Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that affect the function of the central nervous system, altering perception, mood or consciousness.

They include alcohol, anti-depressant and the stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. Some of these drugs can cause addiction and all of these drugs can have side effects.

How to Identify a Drug Addict

A drug addict can be identified by his behavioral traits like being high or drunk. Although we cannot simply judge by their appearance there will be a noticeable shift in the teenager's behavior. Drug usage generally starts at teenage and uncontrolled consumption of drugs will lead to serious addiction. The following indications state that your child is consuming drugs on a regular basis.

Social Indicators

  • a shift in the friends' group

  • a change in activities with friends

  • Withdrawal from family relationships

  • staying out much later than normal

  • sneaking out

  • a decline in school attendance or grades

  • guardedness or deceptiveness in sharing about themselves

Emotional Indicators

  • volatility

  • irritability

  • “depression-like” symptoms

Physical Indicators

  • bloodshot/glassy eyes

  • pupils that are much larger or smaller than everyone else in the room

  • sometimes loss of weight

  • significantly oversleeping or under-sleeping

  • a new and unexplained chronic cough

  • frequently looking pale or ashy

Steps to be taken

  • Process your concerns and develop a game plan depending on how your child might respond. Do this as a parent first. Talk through the topic with your spouse, family, or close friends. Seek to counsel for yourself. Process it until you’re ready to have a calm conversation with your child.

  • Tell them that you care about them and their behavior has been concerning you. Tell them that you are worried about their well-being and try to make them feel comfortable so that they can open up.

  • If they tell you they haven’t been doing it, then offer to enroll them in regular counseling. Try making a collective effort to spend more quality time with them to know more about them. Consider this an opportunity to get them extra support and gather more information.

  • Try to keep them away from the drug dealers or their friends who are addicts.

  • If the teenager is very much addicted, then it is better to get him into a rehabilitation center.

Having a family dinner where everyone gathers around a table to eat together is one of the greatest preventative factors. Kids who have an adult they are connected to, who cares about their life and is interested in them are much less likely to use drugs. And family dinner is a daily accomplishment of this feat that is non-threatening and less socially pressured than “let’s sit down and talk. Thus spending time with your kid and showing interest in their personal life can help them walk on the right path.

Updated on 30-Jul-2019 22:30:24