Warning Signs that Your Child May be Using Drugs

Warning Signs that Your Child May be Using Drugs

March 17th, 2014

There are many different reasons why a child may be acting out, making it difficult for a parent to decide if their child is acting out because of drug and alcohol use or not. Though nothing is certain, there are signs a worried parent can look for if they fear their child is using drugs.

When a child begins using drugs, their life will change in four dominant areas; behavior, personal appearance/habits, home related issues and health problems. Identifying your child’s behavior in one of these areas is a huge step to knowing if they are drinking or abusing drugs. The most important thing to watch out for is if any of these new behavioral patterns suddenly occur:

Behavioral Issues:

Personal Appearance/Habits:

  • Red eyes

  • Burns on lips or fingers

  • Small, red track marks on arms, legs, hands, and/or feet

  • Drastic decrease in personal hygiene

  • Recklessly spending money without proof of newly bought material possessions

  • Breaking house rules when previously not an issue

  • Clenching teeth for a prolonged period of time

  • Rapid eye movement

Home Related Issues:

  • Money missing from either your purse or wallet

  • Prescription drugs missing from secure location

  • Missing or watered down alcohol

  • Valuable items disappearing

  • Unusual containers or wrappers discarded around their room

  • Excessive use of incense, perfume, or cologne to mask the smell of smoke or alcohol

  • Limitations to accessing your child’s bedroom

Health Problems:

  • Open sores or red spots on mouth

  • Vomiting

  • Excessive thirst or “cotton mouth”

  • Sudden weight loss

  • Abundant sores on the skin

  • Profuse sweating

  • Chronic headaches

When trying to decipher if your child is taking drugs/drinking alcohol or if they are just going through normal teenage changes, always remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

-Madison O’Connell, Editorial Intern


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