You have recently noticed behavior that leads you to believe your son might be using drugs. You don’t want to jump to conclusions, but you also know it is important to get to the bottom of this. But then again, you aren’t sure how to approach the situation. This can be a very troubling time for many parents, especially when they don’t feel comfortable approaching their child about his drug use. Here are signs to watch out for when you want to know if your son is using drugs.
Notice Behavior Changes
Teens abusing drugs or alcohol may exhibit changes in personality and behavior that are out of character for them. They may become moody, irritable, and aggressive toward others, even their friends and family members, without apparent reason. Some young people may also become withdrawn and isolate themselves from social activities with their peers or family members.
Lying or Stealing
The teen may start lying about where he’s been and what he’s been doing. A teen who usually spends time with family and friends may suddenly stop hanging out with them, choosing instead to spend more time alone. He may also get into trouble at school or work or spend money without permission on drugs. The teen may also steal money from you or other family members to cover the cost of drugs, which can add up quickly if he’s using more than one type at a time.
Physical changes to look out for include weight loss or gain, a change in appetite, and changes in sleep patterns. A person using drugs may have dilated pupils, a runny nose, and a dry mouth. They may also exhibit slurred speech and an unsteady gait. As far as the causes of these physical changes are concerned, many of them are related to how drugs affect the brain. For example, if an individual takes cocaine or methamphetamine, they may experience constricted blood vessels and increased heart rate due to the stimulants in these substances.
The use of illegal drugs increases the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B or C through sharing needles or syringes. It also increases the risk of other diseases because dirty needles can spread viruses such as hepatitis B and C. The use of alcohol leads to an increased risk of cancer and liver disease, among other problems. Heavy alcohol use can also lead to heart disease and stroke. Some people develop alcohol dependence syndrome (alcoholism) after years of heavy drinking. Using marijuana causes paranoia, depression, anxiety attacks, memory loss, and even psychosis in some people who use it heavily for long periods.
One of the most common signs of drug abuse is difficulty focusing. Whether it’s a conversation or schoolwork, your son might have trouble paying attention to what’s happening around him. He may have trouble concentrating on one task at a time, jumping from one thing to another, and never finishing anything.
Changing Circles of Friends
Your son may stop hanging out with friends who don’t use drugs or alcohol and start spending more time with people who do. He may start hanging out more with friends with criminal records, even if he doesn’t have one. He might also start skipping school more often or miss curfew at night.
Sudden Change in Appearance (Dirty, Unkempt)
If you notice a sudden change in how your son dresses or looks, this could signify that he’s using drugs. His clothes may be dirty or wrinkled, and his hair may be unkempt or uncombed. It is also possible that he will begin to smell bad or have body odor when he hasn’t before. At the end of the day, becoming aware of your loved one’s drug use isn’t easy. But acting on that information and doing something about it can be a whole lot easier. Call us today at 954-523-1167. Our trained experts know what you’re going through and are ready to help you find a way out of addiction for good. Recognizing the signs your loved one has a drug problem could save their life, and it might just make yours much happier as well.