10 signs that your child might be using drugs

10 Warning signs that your teen might be using drugs
There are a lot of things that a teenager might be tempted to try, but the two biggest nightmares of any parent must be that their teenage daughter or son gets caught up in drug use or alcohol abuse. Prohibited drugs are far more freely available and more widespread than most people think and it’s not that hard to buy them. Don’t be fooled by thinking that your child attends a nice school, or lives in a nice area, there won’t be drugs around. Drug abuse can be found in every strata of society and peer pressure, or just simple curiosity, can tempt any teenager to experiment with drugs.

Drug use can wreck young lives and they can cause long lasting mental health issues, so don’t bury your head in the sand about the possibility that your teenager could be using drugs. Here are ten signs that your teen might be using drugs.

1. They have become withdrawn and isolated
One of the first signs of drug abuse is that the child has become withdrawn from the family. Most teens will do this to some degree as they grow older, but when drug abuse is involved it can be far more extreme. He or she is quite likely to spend a lot of time alone, in their room and they will not want to talk about the reasons for this change.

2. They have a new group of friends that you know nothing about
If there has been a sudden shift in who your child’s friends are, then this could be a sign if drug use too. If the old group of friends seems to be being ignored, in favour of a new group then could be because your child is hanging out with other drug users. 

3. Money has gone missing from the home
Drugs cost money and they aren’t cheap. If your child is spending far more money than they used to, or you notice that money has gone missing, then that could be a sign that your teen is using that money to feed a drug habit.

4. They are more prepared to take risks
An increase in anti-social behaviour and risky behaviour could also mean that drugs are changing their perception wrong and right. Truancy, vandalism and a disregard for the risks and consequences of their behaviour are not just signs of a rebellious teen finding his feet in the world.

5. Increased use of deodorants, incense, and mouthwash
If a teen is drinking heavily or smoking cannabis then that will leave a smell that may be trying to cover up. A sudden love of extra strong mints, body spray and burning incense in their room might mean that they are trying to hide something from you.

6. An unhealthy appearance
Quite obviously drug users are not the healthiest people on the planet. Watch out for changes in your child’s appearance. Signs of drug use can include a runny nose, red rimmed eyes, a pale complexion and an unexplained loss of weight.

7. Drastic changes in sleep patterns
Sleeping all day and being awake all night can also be a sign of drug use. Different drugs do different things and some are depressants and some are stimulants. Either type could have a dramatic effect of your child’s sleeping patterns.

8. Unexpectedly poor performance at school
If a straight ‘A’ student suddenly starts failing at school, then that could be a sign of drug or alcohol abuse. They might be finding hard to concentrate, they might just not care anymore, or they could be skipping school lessons to be with their drug taking friends.

9. Severe mood swings
You can’t always put teenager’s mood swings down to hormones, so watch out for dramatic changes in mood that may be being caused by drugs. The peaks and troughs of mood will be exaggerated by drugs and a user could be elated and euphoric, one moment, and down to the point of depression, the next.

10. They have become more hostile
A general increase in a teenager’s hostility towards their parents, siblings and other family members could also be a sign of drug abuse. This will be more than just general teen irritability; it will be quite a marked change in behaviour.

It should be stressed, of course, that not every teenager who develops an attitude, or stays too long in bed in the mornings, is a drug user. All parents should be aware, though, of these signs that their child might be taking drugs, because it can happen to anyone, in any walk of life.  

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