Warning Signs that your Child is Using Drugs

Despite all of your efforts to keep your child off drugs, there may come a time that you begin to suspect that your child has a problem with substance abuse. Maybe you heard your child talking to someone about drugs. Or, maybe you read some disturbing texts/emails or saw some concerning material on Facebook. Maybe you found some odd looking pipes or money seems to be disappearing. Whatever the case, there is something that is triggering in you this hunch. But what do you do? And who do you turn to at this time? Is there really a problem? Or are you over reacting?

Most people would agree that drug use by teens is not something to be taken lightly. However some may say, “it’s only marijuana” or “it’s only alcohol” or “there’s nothing wrong with a little experimentation” or lastly some may even say, “I used marijuana when I was young”. But the world has changed and so have the drugs.

The marijuana of today is stronger than ever before. And kids are using drugs and drinking alcohol at much younger rates than ever before, including adolescents 12 to 17 years old. This means the drug use is taking place when the body and the brain is still growing and developing. Bringing in foreign substances at this time of development can have life long detrimental effects physically. Drug use, also, impacts your child’s friends, their education, etc. So how do you know and recognize if your child may in fact be using drugs?

Signs and Symptoms

There are a number of signals that may indicate your child is using drugs or abusing alcohol. The difficulty is that often times the signals are masked as something else. Below is a list of potential signs and symptoms to watch out for. Keep track of how many signs or symptoms apply to your child and calculate your score indicating the likelihood of your child abusing drugs.

Of note: The result of this self-test is not designed to be used for self diagnosis or psychological evaluation.

  • Missing money from your purse or wallet
  • The use of incense, room deodorizer, or excessive perfumes/cologne to mask the smell of smoke
  • Excessive mints, mouthwash to cover the smell of alcohol
  • Eye drops to make eyes that are bloodshot or dilated appear unimpaired
  • Missing medications (over the counter and prescription)
  • Negative impact at school (grades have declined or homework has decreased and school attendance has decreased due to drug use)
  • Personality changes due to mood altering drugs
  • Withdrawal and decreased interactions with proper friends
  • New friends and people that are not allowed to meet you or be brought to the home
  • Over the counter materials that can be used for getting high such as computer cleanser, nail polish/nail polish remover, white out, hairsprays or other inhalants are found in personal belongings
  • Increased sleeping due to depressant drug use, or decreased sleep due to stimulants
  • Eating impairments such as excess or decreased due to drugs that impair appetite
  • Drug paraphernalia such as pipes, bags of seeds, rolling papers, empty bottles in the bedroom, baggies of pills etc
  • Secrecy regarding activities, interactions, and conversations that have coded language
  • Your child’s bedroom is strictly off limits

6 – 9 = Most Likely
10 – 15 = Strong Likelihood

A score of 6 and above indicates that your child may be using drugs or abusing alcohol. Your child deserves the opportunity to grow up and have a life free from addiction. Decisions made by your child during their adolescent years can and will impact their future: friends, girl/boyfriends, school/occupation, etc. There is no other time in life that there are so many choices and so much pressure to make the right choices regarding issues surrounding your child. Without proper guidance, a child will be set in a course with little to no hope of ever coming out; unfortunately, there are really only three endings to a life filled with drug use:

1. Jail
2. Death
3. Treatment

Since you are reading this, it may be safe to say you are choosing treatment. Adolescent Growth is nationally recognized as a leading provider of adolescent treatment for drug use. We offer intensive treatment for persons that are 12-17 years of age and are struggling with substance abuse issues.

We provide research based treatment methods of turning around the lives of the teens that we admit into our program. Each staff member is a uniquely qualified healthcare professional that is dedicated and passionate about helping your child and family get back to normal. We neither judge nor do we condemn and blame. Rather, we encourage, empathize, challenge, educate and equip.

Adolescent Growth is committed to excellence and is a preferred provider with most medical insurance companies. We are also accredited by the Joint Commission. Please read more about the services we offer by clicking the links below.

The First Step
Residential Treatment

If you are ready to move forward with an admission, please call us at 888.948.9998 option 1 for the admissions department. One of our intake counselors will be glad to help you.