Are You Concerned About Your Teen & Possible Drug Use?
It is the start of a new school year and the time when every parent worries about their teens, especially where drugs and alcohol are concerned.
While you do not want to be regarded as the enemy by your teenage children, you need to be vigilant and aware of the common signs to watch out for in case your own son or daughter may be using drugs.
Here are some guidelines
- Staying out of school or at least missing or being late to classes. If you are contacted by your teen's school about such happenings, take steps to find out why and enlist the help of the school if necessary.
- A drop in your teen's grades. This is another red flag to take note of. This drop could be sudden or it could happen so gradually that you might not immediately notice it. It will need to be investigated.
- Behavior problems. This could be minor infringements of school rules or it could be as serious as petty theft. Keep a close eye on any behavior problems that may arise whether at home or at school or anywhere else for that matter.
- Losing interest in hobbies and interests. If your son or daughter suddenly no longer wants to participate in formerly enjoyed school or outside activities, this should raise a red flag.
- Dropping long standing friends. You should be concerned if your teen suddenly turns away from mixing with his or her friends and is taking on a whole new set of friends, especially if the new friends are influencing your teen's views and behavior in a negative way.
- A change in personality. Your once friendly and outgoing teen becomes withdrawn and moody. While this can just be a teenage trait anyway, it is still wise to keep an eye on this trend.
- Sudden mood changes. While this is another fact of life with teenagers, excessive mood changes including extreme suspicion and paranoia should be be viewed with concern and followed up.
- Disappearing and hiding out in his or her own room more frequently. If you start to wonder whether you teen is still living at home, this could be a further sign of a problem.
- Neglecting personal appearance or sudden weight loss. A once clean and fashion-minded son or daughter becoming disheveled and unkempt, even leading to acne outbreaks, is yet another clue to a change in your teen's lifestyle habits. Is your teen losing interest in food?
- Appearing listless, hung over or just generally uncaring. Such signs should never be ignored and should be followed up as a matter of urgency.
- Forgetfulness and memory loss. Signs of sudden absent mindedness should be viewed with suspicion.
- Becoming secretive or lying. Unfortunately this is a sure sign of problems if your teen has something to hide.
If your son or daughter has developed one or more of these traits, try talking to him or her as your first step.
If you discover your worst fears are correct or you still suspect drug use even though there has been a denial, the first thing you need to do is sit down, relax and take a deep breath.
Then go online to follow their step by step instructions to help you find solutions.