Signs of Drug Abuse

How can you tell if your child is just a moody teenager or experimenting with drugs that cause his personality to change?  With school out and longer summer days, there’s more time for recreational drugs.

As a parent, you have the right to rifle through their drawers to confirm your suspicions.  Here are some telltale signs to look for:

  1. Appetite: Changes in appetite, such as decreased appetite and associated weight loss.
  2. Attitude: Less considerate, without care for things they usually care about. Dramatic change, overly emotional, irritable, angry, outbursts, confusion.
  3. Behavior: Altered behavior, such as an increased desire for privacy. Suddenly lose interest in their hobbies they loved. Fidgety, paranoid and/or anxious.  Frequently avoiding eye contact.  Defensiveness when asked about substance use.
  4. Belongings: Selling or pawning their own valued possessions that they once loved, including clothes.
  5. Body Temperature: Always wearing socks and/or long sleeves/hoodies even in the summer.
  6. Damage to property: Burned areas on furniture and/or rugs. Black residue on floor, counters or furniture.
  7. Dental Hygiene: Teeth begin to deteriorate, refuses to go to the dentist.
  8. Digital payments to people such as Venmo, Cash App, Bit Coin, etc.
  9. Driving: Getting into random accidents and claim it was not their fault.
  10. Excessive Sweet Eating: Sugar, lots of candy and/or sweets.
  11. Excessive use of nose spray for chronic stuffy nose.
  12. Eyes: Dilated, small pupils, droopy, bloodshot eyes.

This list was compiled by the Facebook support group #NotInVain.  The book Not In Vain contains over 160 real-life stories of parents who have lost children to drug abuse.  The author is Bobbie R. Ziemer. ( Madison Victoria Publishing, LLC: 2020).

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting. Currently, she is targeting her writing about recovery to parents whose children have substance abuse disorders.

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