Parents often want to know, “How Do I Know If My Kid Is on Drugs?”
Most of the time there will be some signs and symptoms that you will be able to identify. Some of the changes you may see in an adolescent are change in attitude, change in friends, and change in activities. Often when an adolescent begins using their peer group will change, their grades may begin to drop and they may stop participating in activities that were once important to them, like sports or extracurricular activities. Sometimes it may seem difficult to differentiate between normal adolescent behavior changes and substance use. Research has shown that open communication about parents disapproval of substance use is one of the leading reasons that teens choose not to use. So, it is very important to have open conversations with your child about your views on substance use.
You may also be able to identify some physical changes too, depending on the substance being used. If alcohol or marijuana are being used, you may notice slurred speech, red eyes, or unsteady gait. If someone is using opiates you may notice watery eyes, itchy nose or “nodding out”. When a person is not using some of these substance you may begin to notice withdrawal symptoms, if they are using regularly. Some of these symptoms may include, agitation, shakiness, upset stomach, hot and cold flashes and other flu like symptoms.
Again, it is important to communicate your values regarding substance use to your child. If you continue to suspect substance use you can purchase a urine drug screen and the local pharmacy and do a drug test at home. You can also seek out professional help if needed. Linden Oaks at Edward provides free assessments 24/7. You can call 630 305-5027 to schedule an appointment
Manager of Addiction Services
Linden Oaks at Edward Hospital
852 West Street
Naperville, IL 60540