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Is Your Teen on Drugs?

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As parents, we like to think that our kids are smart enough and have been raised well enough to stay away from bad trends like drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, even children raised in perfect homes will be faced with decisions and temptations. And sometimes, they do give in.

Do you know what to look for to check if your teen is using? Besides talking to your children, looking for drug use signs is the most important part of preventing drug abuse. If you catch your child on drugs, you can then take the next step. What the next step is varies from family to family and it may be rehab, counseling, or some other punishment handed out by the parents. However, you first need to know what the signs of drug use are.

Some of the common symptoms of simply being a teen are similar to those than can indicate a drug problem. Just because your teen has recently changed his or her sleeping cycle or hobbies, or has frequent outbursts or drastic mood swings, doesn’t necessarily mean that drugs are involved. Those are very common indicators of normal teen behavior, as well as of drug use. Therefore, you’ll need more to go on than just normal teenage grumpiness.

Friends may change. If your teen suddenly drops her best friend and starts hanging around with a new crowd, keep a watchful eye on her. Other things to watch out for with friends is secrecy. Do they seem to be speaking in code on the phone? Does your child change her attitude around her new friends (usually for the worse)? These are signs to watch out for. Your teen may also become very defensive if you try to ask questions about her new friends.

A loss of interest in school can be normal in some teens, but it is also an indicator of trouble. If your once “A” student is now getting a C in all classes and couldn’t care less, this may be a sign of drug use. Stay in communication with the school as well, since they can let you know if things are going poorly there. Your teen may be getting into fights or skipping classes, and some schools won’t inform you until it’s too late.

While some privacy concerns are normal, teens who are using will become abnormally secretive. They may have locks on their doors to keep you out, sneak out their window to leave the house, or hide things from you, for example. You may also notice that your teen’s room frequently smells of air freshener or incense (to hide smoke or chemical odors) and that he uses mouthwash or chews gum more frequently.

Some signs may be so obvious that you would normally miss them. Clothing in particular can be a good indicator. When your son suddenly starts sporting shirts that say “Legalize Marijuana” or a cap with a joint on it, you might be on the lookout for other signs on the following list:

Potential Drug Use Signs

  • Withdrawal from family or teams
  • Changes in sleeping cycle
  • Frequent outbursts or drastic mood swings
  • Unusual change in hobbies
  • Change in crowd of friends
  • Worse attitude with new friends
  • Talking in code and abnormal secrecy
  • Drop in grades and attitude about school
  • Skipping classes or getting into fights
  • Locks on doors
  • Sneaking out of the house
  • Hiding things quickly from parents
  • Air freshner or incense smells
  • Finding lighters, pipes, or other paraphernalia
  • Clothing that advocates drugs
  • Smell of marijuana
  • Blood shot eyes or eye drops to cover them up
  • Missing prescription drugs
  • Disappearing money or odd money requests

It is important to know what the signs of drug use are so you can help your teen before he or she gets in too deep. Kids can be influenced by others at school or by what they watch, read, or listen to. You are not the only influential factor in their lives and even though you try your best, it is impossible to protect them from everything. However, being aware of the problem is the first step to dealing with it. So, memorize the signs in this article and keep an eye on your children.”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"

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