Although many teens may imagine themselves being in a Seth Rogen movie when using drugs, the reality is far more bleak. By 12th grade, over a third of high schoolers will have tried illicit substances (). As a parent, it is important to carefully examine your child for signs of drug use before their problem turns into an addiction.
Recognizing the Signs of Drug Use
As much as the media glamorizes substance abuse, the one thing that is typically accurate in movies is the portrayal of the signs of drug use. These include poor hygiene and messy appearance, red eyes and face, burns on the fingertips or lips, or even track marks. If your child frequently breaks curfew, sneaks out, keeps their door locked, makes secret phone calls – or shows sudden changes in eating habits, sleep patterns, and friend groups, there is a possibility that drugs are behind the reason. A quick drop in school performance, as well as personality changes, can also be a result of substance abuse.
Although marijuana – the most commonly used drug – typically has the telltale smell, the recent fad of smoking odorless dabs makes detection difficult. As such, paying attention to the secondary signs of drug use is extremely important. If you notice your child being lethargic or losing interest, it may prove worthwhile to dig deeper.
What to Do If You Suspect Signs of Drug Use
As a parent, it can be difficult to accept that your child has a drug problem. The first step to recovery, however, is to be open and non-judgmental. Staying calm and having an honest discussion with your child about the dangers of drug use and why you don’t approve can go a long way in helping solve the issue. By understanding what it is that caused your child to turn to drugs – peer pressure or stress, for instance – you can help eliminate the trigger. Also, if possible, try to think of fun alternatives to drugs – spending more time together doing enjoyable activities can replace your child’s desire for substances.
If your child’s drug problem has gotten out of hand, it may be time to consider professional help.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East, a residential treatment center for struggling teen girls ages 14-18, can help your daughter find success.