What Signs to Look for If You Suspect Your Child Is Using Drugs?
At times, your teen or adult child might fall into a vicious circle of bad habits. Smoking, drugs, and alcohol might entice them so much that they don’t realize that they are treading on a road to destruction.
Dr. Phil McGraw reveals what signs you must look for if you suspect your child is using drugs.
Here are the signs that you have to look for and things to do if you suspect that your child is into drugs
- Keep Your Liquor Cabinet Locked: Your child could easily drink from your liquor cabinet if you keep it always open. It is quite easy for your child to replace water with clear liquor. Don’t forget to keep your liquor closet closed all the times, especially when you are outside home.
- Don’t Trust Your Child Blindly: The most trusting parents are the easiest to take undue advantage of. You child might tell you he or she is going out for movie, games or dining out and might end up drinking or smoking pot at a party. If they come home after many hours with excuses like they were stuck in a traffic jam, they ran out of gas or had to drop a friend at his/her place; you must try to investigate what the real matter was.
- Double Check Your Home Alarm Systems: It is important to make sure that your home alarm is working very efficiently. Dr. Phil warns that few children always find a loophole in the alarm system and can get out of the house using fire escape routes or ladders, after everyone is asleep to drink or do drugs.
- Thoroughly Check Their Rooms and Personal Belongings: Rooms are their favorite place to hide drugs. You must check their rooms thoroughly, under mattresses, in closets, drawers and even behind the drawers. They might also try to hide drugs into the pockets of their unused jeans. If they do not give you their wallets, backpacks, pockets, when asked or get mad upon being asked to show; they are surely hiding something from you.
- Pay Attention to How Your Child Looks: To cover physical signs of abusing drugs, you child might use hats to hide the eyes. They could also chew gums often and might use Visine to hide the redness in their eyes. If they try to avoid long conversation with you and just prefer to answer in short yes or no, you must probe them for more information.
- Don’t Think Your Child Is Too Young to Use Drugs: Most children who do drugs, start when they are just as young as 16. They might end up doing drugs or drinking on a daily basis by the time they are 18. You really must not think that your child is too young for all this.
- Know All Your Child’s Friends: If your child is not bringing home his or her friends, to get you know their friends better, then these young kids have something to hide. Always make sure to know who all are your child’s friends and how they generally behave.
- Think of All the Sources They Could Buy Drugs From: Most teenagers get drugs from their friends and gradually they get to know a lot of drug dealers. These drug dealers might be giving them drugs at any convenient location such as a parking lot at any shopping malls, restaurants or even movie theaters.
- Check Your Child’s Attendance Sheet in School: If you observe that your child is missing school more often than you are aware or is going elsewhere, he or she is definitely into some bad habit. They usually will go school late or miss it altogether. These children might also forge notes from parents or steal passes from the school.
- Don’t Pay for Your Child’s Drugs: Keep a check on how much money you give to your child for eating out or for buying clothes. He or she could just save money to spend on drugs or alcohol. Ask them if they are not buying any clothes and they have already taken money for the same.
- Check Their Vehicles After a Weekend: Remember to check your child’s car after a weekend, you might spot something fishy like cigarette butts, some drugs sprinkled on the car’s floorboards or seats. Look if any pasty substance is on the CD covers or dashboards or pictures, that they might have used to do drugs off. You must randomly test them for drugs after a weekend.
- Look for Sudden Physical Changes: If your child is taking drugs, they would exhibit sudden physical changes such as rapid weight loss, skin paleness, dark circles, discoloration, dropping grades, shaky hands, frequently missing school, irritability, and mood changes. These signs could indicate frequent drug or alcohol abuse.
The best way out of this situation is to build a strong, positive, and trusting relationship with your child. It is the best fence you can put around them. If you find anything suspicious, you must talk it out and offer them help to stop indulging in all these deadly vices. If you won’t judge your kids too often, they would feel free to come to you and discuss everything that’s troubling them. Dr. Phil also encourages maintaining a friendly and strong relationship with children to help them overcome all the hurdles and bad habits.