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:
- Appetite: Changes in appetite, such as decreased appetite and associated weight loss.
- Attitude: Less considerate, without care for things they usually care about. Dramatic change, overly emotional, irritable, angry, outbursts, confusion.
- 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.
- Belongings: Selling or pawning their own valued possessions that they once loved, including clothes.
- Body Temperature: Always wearing socks and/or long sleeves/hoodies even in the summer.
- Damage to property: Burned areas on furniture and/or rugs. Black residue on floor, counters or furniture.
- Dental Hygiene: Teeth begin to deteriorate, refuses to go to the dentist.
- Digital payments to people such as Venmo, Cash App, Bit Coin, etc.
- Driving: Getting into random accidents and claim it was not their fault.
- Excessive Sweet Eating: Sugar, lots of candy and/or sweets.
- Excessive use of nose spray for chronic stuffy nose.
- 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 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.