Do You Suspect Your Child is Taking Drugs?
Teens and drugs
Teenage years are the most difficult, with so many physical, emotional and life changing decisions to make during their transition into adulthood. While dealing with your daughter or son, we should all remember our own teenage years. Teenage drug taking or abuse is a something that many young people may confront or experiment with at some point. Wondering if your child is using or abusing drugs can be stressful. If you suspect your child may be into drug use or even just experimenting, you may not know how to deal with it.
One of the first steps is to make sure that there are no other issues or worries your child might be facing. Make a point to sit down and talk to them calmly and sincerely to get to the bottom of what challenges they may be dealing with at school, with friends, or family members.
No parent wants to see their child in this situation. We as parents want only the best for our children. Faced with a teenager using drugs can seem very overwhelming. How do you cope with this? Is there help out there? Many parents deal with this problem every day. Actually, you will find that there is help! The solution varies depending on your situation.
Dramatic mood swings
Teens all have normal mood swings. But look for more dramatic changes such as happy and full of energy one minute and then withdrawn with sadness or angry outbursts.
No one knows your child like you do, but during these challenging, trying times, you may feel that you do not know them at all or recognise their negative or unpredictable behaviour.
Does your teenager have new friends?
If your teenager is dumped by his or her old friend and suddenly has a new set of friends, maybe it’s a sign that their new found friends are having a negative influence on your child. Find out about your child’s friends. Ask where they hang out and what they do when they socialise? Get to know the parents.
Acting out in school
Has your child’s grades fallen recently, are they less concerned about their studies and their attitude to school and their future? Cutting class, fighting and generally acting out are signs that there could be serious issues worrying your child and one of the reasons they may be taking drugs.
Attitude and Health
Is there a change in appetite, or sleep pattern? Is your child openly dishonest and rebellious? What
about the medicine cabinet? Do you smell cigarettes or alcohol on his or her breath? Is your child using a lot of mints lately? Have they changed how they dress and do their hair? Do you suspect that your child could be drunk or high? Watch out for slurred speech, stumbling, or bloodshot eyes.
Has someone close to you said that they think your child may be into drug abuse? Even though it may be only one person, it is enough to further investigate the issue. Teens are masters at hiding things from their parents.
Sometimes, just talking with your child can help. Be wise, and try to remember how difficult this transitional period into adulthood is for them, but let them know that you cannot not accept this behaviour for their own wellbeing. Let them know that you are here to help and that they can trust that you will always be there for them. Reiterate the consequences of drugs and alcohol abuse, even if they think they already know. Sometimes children need to hear you say it and it can make a huge difference.
If talking to your teen does not work, perhaps looking for third party help and supports groups is another way forward.
While these are UK examples there is a whole host of resources and information on the following websites.
For support in your particular country try Google search or a community blog. Also, talk to your GP, teachers, school welfare officers or other parents who have experienced similar issues. Don’t delay, take action today.
Author: Asian Mums Network guest writer
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