As a parent, there are plenty of things to worry about when it comes to your precious kids, and one of the scariest things a parent can discover is that their child has been abusing drugs. A sudden loss of interest in school/hobbies or a huge change in personality might turn out to be more than a result of puberty. Here are some tell-tale signs that your kid might be abusing drugs like cannabis or heroin.
1. Things to look out for
Sometimes the most obvious signs are the ones that we tend to overlook. If you think that your child is taking drugs, the first thing to do is to look for whether there are any suspicious-looking substances or pills lying around. Prescribed drugs will always come with a symbol that you can verify here.
The next thing to look out for is the paraphernalia or the related objects that are used in drug use. A few common items are:
– Meth Pipe
– Aluminium Foil with Lighter
– Small ziplock bags containing traces of glass-like substances or grass-like substances
– Plastic bags that reek of glue
Additionally, if your son or daughter comes back home sporting a thick perfume with a hint of marijuana or glue, that is also a sign that they have been smoking drugs.
2. Physiological Signs (Physical Signs)
When it comes to physical signs, the signs below can sound a lot like common flu symptoms, but if they come on suddenly, it is regardless a cause for worry even if it is not because of drug abuse. We recommend bringing your child to the doctor if you spot these symptoms.
– Bloodshot Eyes, Dry Mouth and Throat
These symptoms are generally more applicable for glue-sniffers, along with sores on the nose and mouth due to exposure to glue. In some cases, the sniffer might also have a constant runny nose.
– Bad Breath
If your child is abusing meth, chances are that he will have severe dental problems, which also lead to bad breath.
– Flu-Like Symptoms, Lung Damage
Although these forms of abuse are less common now, snorted or smoked drugs often lead to chronic sinus or persistent coughing.
– Extreme Weight Loss
Something to look out for across all types of drug abusers is the sudden loss of weight by a large amount due to a loss of appetite.
3. Behaviour changes
If your child is starting to rely on drugs, there will be obvious behavioural changes that surface in a short time. However, like physical symptoms, the following list of changes should not be considered as an indication of substance abuse but as a warning sign that your child is going through something. One of the most common changes across drug abusers is the drop in concentration and awareness of surroundings.
Beyond that, the following signs are also things that you can look out for
– Loss of interest in personal care, appearance, food and social activities
– A sudden decline in attendance or performance in school or work
– Frequent isolation
Of course, the disclaimer here is that just because your child is spending late nights out or suddenly starts failing his/her Maths class doesn’t mean that it is time to start confronting him/her about marijuana abuse. These symptoms of drug abuse are here to serve as a guideline if you have some suspicions about your child’s behaviour, and you should always talk to a professional before doing anything drastic. If you want to learn how to protect your children from drug vices, we recommend reading our article on talking to your children about drugs.