Parents never want to think their children are using drugs. They want to believe their kids know better or that they are too young for that sort of thing. Unfortunately, we all do things despite knowing better and the younger kids start using drugs, the more likely they are to develop a serious addiction. If you can catch drug use early, treatment and therapy can prevent problems later on. Here are some signs your child might be using drugs.
Sudden changes in behaviour.
A quiet kid suddenly becoming talkative or a talkative kid suddenly becoming quiet are both worrying signs. Behaviour changes might be caused by something else. If you notice a sudden change, it’s worth trying to discover what caused it. Even if it’s not drugs, they may still need help.
Changes in friends.
Kids change friends all the time because adolescents are cliquish and unsure of their identities. If your child suddenly has new friends who you don’t know or don’t seem entirely trustworthy, you may want to look into it.
Suddenly failing in school.
It’s hard to do well in school if you spend all your free time drinking or smoking marijuana. They aren’t great for your focus and memory and may coincide with a shift in priorities. Suddenly doing poorly in school is worrisome in itself, but it may also signal a larger problem.
If your child is suddenly evasive, lying about where he’s been or where he’s going, spending a lot of time alone in his room, and generally being reluctant to talk, he might be hiding drug use. Of course, it’s normal for teens to be a bit withdrawn and want their own space, but in combination with other signs, being secretive might indicate drug use.
Finding drugs in their clothes or room.
This is pretty self-explanatory.
Stealing money or other items.
Teens don’t have much money of their own. If you discover money or valuable items have gone missing, it may be a sign your child needs drug money. Again, even if it’s not drugs, you’ll want to find out what’s going on.
Drugs aren’t great for thinking. If your child suddenly seems to have trouble focusing or remembering things, he may be using. He may have a far-away look, speech problems, or coordination problems too. Constricted pupils are a very bad sign. If these don’t clear up quickly, it would be a good idea to see a doctor. Depending on the symptoms, it may be a relief to find out they were caused by drugs.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centres in the UK. Castle Craig treats alcoholism and drug addiction as an illness and promote abstinence as essential for long-lasting recovery. We help patients recover through an intensive, personalised programme that combines medical treatment, 12 Step therapy, CBT and other psychiatric therapies and complementary therapies. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020