Parents beware. Your teen might be a victim of drug addiction.
It’s quite a rare occurrence for teens to approach their parents and honestly admit that they are taking drugs or are struggling with substance abuse. Therefore, it’s up to the parents to be wary and observant for subtle, insidious clues that their children might be engaging in inappropriate substance use.
Grappling With Hints
Over the past years, alcohol, substance, and drug abuse have elevated among teens. While 46% of senior high school students have been consuming alcoholic beverages, 44% have smoked pot, and 8% have been curious and used narcotics. As disconcerting as this information has been, there are still ways on how parents can immediately pinpoint if their kids are walking through a path that they shouldn’t take.
Worried parents, here are the most apparent yet sneaky signs that your teens might be into drug abuse.
- Notice Change In Behavior
Teen drama is inevitable. There will be moments where you and your teens disagree on almost everything, with or without the drugs, so the challenge is how to identify drug abuse if you and your teen argue all the time. Parents must look for notable and abrupt changes in the lifestyle and behavior of their teens. Trust your gut and always listen to what your instincts tell you.
Notice if your teen’s behavior is far from the usual, or if they have deviated from their regular routines. If it reaches the point where you have this inner voice telling you it’s somewhat atypical for your children to be doing this and that, it is best to confide in your partner. Though the first step that might come to mind is to confront your teens directly, this strategy is not always reliable because people who are abusing drugs or any prohibited substances tend to lie so as not to be separated from their addiction.
You can discreetly approach a trusted school admin like teachers or schoolmates to ask about your teen’s overall performance or involvement with suspicious individuals.
- Questionable Spending
When your kids ask for money more than usual then spend it for something that you are not aware of or is not divulged to you, this is an immediate sign that your teens may be up to no good. Any expenses that cannot be thoroughly explained – like a dubious school or group project – should provoke interrogations.
Aside from spending vast amounts of money on something intangible, you should also be alarmed if you notice that there are valuable things inside the house that’s missing. Dependency acts on the brain’s pleasure senses in a way that must regularly be sustained, which is why if parents refuse to give their teens money after they’ve pleaded, the next desperate step would be stealing.
- School Performance Plummets Quickly
From a grade of A or B to an exasperating C or D, school performance is a good determinant of drug dependency. Teens who are abusing substances have a hard time concentrating on lectures and lessons at school. Also, their extracurricular activities like sports are compromised because their brain and body functions are mostly focused on satisfying their addictive behavior. Reports coming from school administrators, teachers, and coaches regarding your teens’ flunking performance are highly indicative of a specific type of addiction.
- Irritability And Avoidance Of Conversations
Radio silence and sensitivity are common teenage demeanors; however, if your kids suddenly disconnect and isolate themselves not just from you but everybody, you have to be concerned as this might not be an average teenage dilemma. Approach your teenager with a calm and consistent presence without prejudice. Honest communication with your kids by allowing them to vent will build trust. Though this won’t be easy mainly if you have detached, snarly teenagers, it’s a stepping stone for your teens to open up whether what they’re going through is related to drugs or other issues.
- Change Of Peers
Friends have a significant influence on attitude and behavior, which makes them the best determinants of whether your teenagers are with a good or bad company. Though you don’t want to be judgmental of the people whom your children are with, think of it as being more cautious and observant of how they present themselves. If your kids hesitate on bringing their friends at home and they refuse to tell you the reason why there must be something dubious about their friends’ demeanor. Always know who your teens’ friends are to save them from bad habits and indecent behaviors.
It’s not an easy task to confront your teens about their addiction, but it’s the only way to involve yourself in their rehabilitation. If you see any of the stated warning signs above, do not hesitate to talk to your children about it because often, teens would like to know if you care about their condition. As soon as your teen admits that he or she is suffering from substance or alcohol dependency, it’s the parents’ responsibility to help them get treated.