It can come as quite a shock when you are led to the idea that your child might be abusing drugs, but it is very important not to let your emotions lead you on this. To find out the truth of a situation, you must first have a full understanding of it yourself; you need to be prepared. So, before you search your child’s room or look at the messages on their laptop, stop, think, research.
Recognizing the signs
If you were to research the common signs and symptoms of drug abuse, you could probably identify them in 90% of the people you know, especially teenagers. Their natural orientation to become reclusive when they hit those awkward years could begin a volley of warning sirens in your mind pointing towards drug abuse, but most of the time they are just teenagers. Here are some of the more serious signs to look out for:
Signs and symptoms:
1. Severe and unexplained changes to personality
2. Periods of unusual hyperactivity or aggression
3. Increase in sleeping, lack of motivation and an appearance of lethargy
4. An increase of anxiety, paranoia with no logical or obvious reason
5. Bloodshot eyes with pupils being larger than normal
Although this is in no way an exhaustive list, these are some of the signs you would want to keep a careful eye on should your child start to develop them.
Honesty and integrity
Mentioned earlier, you might want to jump straight to searching rooms and private messages – even diaries. But remember, stop, think. How is your child going to be able to trust you enough to talk to you about such a serious problem as drug abuse if they cannot trust you to not violate their privacy? We have a duty of care to protect our children, but we also have a responsibility to be role models.
It might be a hard conversation to have, but the first thing you might need to do is tackle the problem head on. Ask them. You must do so with absolutely no judgment, this conversation is not about punishment but support and nurturing if your child is abusing drugs the last thing they need is a telling off. The abuse of drugs affects everyone involved and so it must be made clear that this conversation is about love and support, not blame and scolding.
Drug abuse in children is, unfortunately, more common today due to the desire to grow up faster, it is a serious addiction and must be treated with the support of medical attention. If you are concerned your child might be abusing drugs, speak to a doctor for advice.