While there are thousands of books and articles that have been written about raising children, there is no iron clad formula for perfection. You do the best you possibly can to raise your child well and give them every opportunity they deserve, but all too often, they can walk down the wrong path. If you are worried that your child has been walking down that wrong path, here are some warning signs that will help you identify if your child is abusing drugs and/or alcohol. If you recognize these behaviors, please act now, early intervention could very well save their life.
Change in behavior or attitude. Have you noticed your child becoming secretive or evasive? Do they give you vague answer to direct questions? Do they suddenly have a short temper, seem lethargic, irritable, unmotivated or withdrawn? Have you seen a decline in their grades or school attendance? Have your valuables or money gone missing? Are they hanging out with a new crowd?
Change in appearance. Does your child appear thin, pale or gaunt? Has there been a change in the quality of their skin, including blemishes, bruises or open wounds? Have you noticed a decline in their hygiene, not showering for days at a time? Are their eyes bloodshot or pupils dilated? Has your child started to burn incense, use cologne/perfume or room deodorizers?
Have you found any suspicious items? Small baggies? Torn up pieces of paper? Burnt foil? Cut up straws? Visine or other eye drops? Lighters?
While this is far from an exhaustive list of warning signs, this list will hopefully help you take a closer look at your child’s behavior. Don’t wait, if you suspect your child of abusing drugs/alcohol, act now, before it’s too late.
Emerson Levine, CADC II Intake and Discharge Manager