The Signs Something is Wrong
That Your Loved One is Using Drugs or Alcohol
When loved oneren start using drugs they usually exhibit many
different signs which parents need to watch out for. Unfortunately,
many parents often write-off these signs as normal adolescent
behavior and as a result they don't realize that their loved one is
into drugs until it is too late. So how can you as a parent know for
sure whether or not your loved one is in danger of falling into
drugs? Simple ... by understanding that every loved one is in danger
of this. The parent who says "not my kid" is the same parent who
will miss all the signs that their loved one has started
experimenting with drugs. Often they will stay in this state of
denial till their son or daughter is arrested or overdoses -- and by
then it is too late. So what should you as parents be looking for as
signs that your loved one is experimenting with drugs or alcohol.
Dramatic changes in style of clothes, hair, music
These outward signs of rebellion should be obvious to a parent. Has
your loved one started listening to radically-different music such
as heavy metal or punk rock? Is your kid coloring their hair some
weird color just to fit in? Is your loved one dressing down to fit
in with friends at school? All of these are outward signs that your
loved one is succumbing to peer pressure and all these should serve
as warning signs to you that your loved one is in danger of falling
into the same kind of peer pressure when it comes to drugs.
Hanging out with a bad crowd
Your loved one might try and tell you that his/her friends are
cool kids. But you need to take a close look at the kinds of kids
your loved one is hanging out with. Chances are the way these
friends behave is the way your loved one behaves when you're not
around. Do some of your loved one's friends smoke cigarettes? If so,
odds are your loved one is smoking too. Your loved one's friends are
like a mirror for your son or daughter -- they look at themselves in
that mirror and try to conform to what they see there. One of the
best ways to get a good idea of what your loved one is like is to
look at there closest friends.
Tardiness and/or truancies
You need to stay in touch with your loved one's school. Never
assume that his/her work place or school will be in touch with you
if there is a problem. If your loved one is getting into drugs, odds
are he/she will start ditching class from time to time. Kids who do
this tend to take off during the middle of school and get stoned
somewhere near the campus. Don't assume that their school will let
you know about this kind of behavior. And you need to realize, kids
are great at covering this kind of behavior up. Every kid knows how
to forge their parent's signature -- no joke. Call your loved one's
school from time to time and ask about your loved one attendance
record. You need to take the initiative here!
Isolating from family
Does your loved one act distant? When you ask your loved one what
he/she has been up to, does your loved one give some vague reply?
Does you loved one want to eat in their room all the time instead of
with the family? loved oneren are smart - they know that the easiest
lie to tell is the one they can avoid having to tell. If you loved
one doesn't tell you what he/she has been up to, there's a good
chance your loved one is hiding something.
Changes in attitude and personality
Does it seem like your loved one is suddenly a completely different
person with a new personality which you don't like one bit? Has your
loved one suddenly developed a tough guy/girl attitude? If your
loved one is experimenting with drugs, there's a good chance you'll
be seeing these kinds of attitude changes. Often parents just see
this as normal teenage behavior and write it off. Don't make this
mistake . . . otherwise you might overlook one of the most obvious
signs of your loved one's drug problem.
Changes in sleep patterns
These kinds of changes should be fairly obvious. Does your loved one
stay up late (or even all night) frequently, refusing to get up in
the morning at a decent time. Does your loved one sleep way too much
or way too little. If your loved one isn't sleeping much, there's a
good chance he/she is using . This is a frequent effect of this kind
of stimulant. Excessive use of foul or obscene language Has your
loved one suddenly developed a filthy mouth? This might indicate
that your loved one is giving into peer pressure from their friends
and should be a warning sign to you. If your loved one is trying to
fit in with their friends by cussing, sooner or later your loved one
will probably look for other ways to gain acceptance in his/her peer
group. One of these ways is often drugs.
Eating way too much or way too little
Here's another obvious sign of drug experimentation that is often
overlooked as normal teenage behavior. Does your loved one come home
in the afternoon after hanging out with friends and devour
everything in the refrigerator? If your loved one is smoking pot
with his/her friends, it wouldn't be unusual for your loved one to
eat a bit more food than normal. Does your loved one skip quite a
few consecutive meals, then speed use is a possibility.
Paranoia - everyone is out to get me
Does your son or daughter treat everybody as if they were the
enemy? Do they tend to express the idea that everybody is out to get
them? Do they seem overly paranoid to you? This is not normal
teenage behavior; you need to understand that. This is one of the
most common signs of drug abuse. It's one of those signs you don't
have to look hard to see.
Dilated eyes - red eyes - glazed eyes
Do your son's or daughter's eyes look funny? Are the pupils real
large or real small? Does your loved one wear sunglasses even at
night and try and say their just trying to look cool? A person's
eyes show the effects of the drugs their on. If you think your loved
one is experimenting with drugs, watch his or her eyes. Are they red
all the time? Glazed? If so, there's a real good chance your loved
one is using drugs.
Sudden bursts of anger
Has your loved one developed a violent side? Is he or she prone
to sudden, uncontrollable fits of anger? This doesn't have to mean
physically violent (though that is often the case) but can also be a
teen who is always yelling or threatening people. Any of these
things should be a warning sign to you that your loved one could be
experimenting with drugs.
If your loved one is experimenting with drugs, he/she will be
telling lots of lies to cover this up. Teens tend to be very good at
covering things up. If you start wondering whether or not your loved
one is telling you the truth there is a good chance that your
instincts are right. Be persistent and learn what it is that they
are trying to cover up. Drugs are an all-to-real possibility.
Dramatic mood swings
Does your loved one seems real happy one day, then terribly
depressed the next day? Do your loved one's emotions go up and down
constantly? This is often confused with 'normal' teenage behavior,
but it can also be an obvious sign of drug abuse. Don't simply write
Excessive money spending or money disappearing
Drugs cost money. If your loved one keeps coming to you needing
money, or if money keeps coming up missing from your purse or your
wallet, you need to have a serious talk with your loved one.
Especially if they always seem to need 20 dollars or 50 dollars --
round amounts -- since that is often the price drugs cost.