Parenting a teenager is, for lack of a better phrase, uncharted territory. The teen years are a time when your child is trying to exert their independence. On the other hand, you are trying to instill those last few lessons before they head out into the world. It is a time filled with pressure on all sides and it’s no wonder that there is a fair amount of conflict to be had.
Even if your relationship with your teenager is ideal, your house will still have some conflict and teen angst. It’s hard to know when that conflict and teen angst crosses the line into abnormal territory that requires more concern. You may find yourself wondering, “Is this normal, or is my kid on drugs?” You may also find yourself wishing you had a parenting crystal ball that would give you all of the answers and the next right steps. At The Last House, we understand how mind-boggling it is to navigate the teen years and possible drug use.
Drugs Commonly Used by Teens
When examining teen drug use, we find that alcohol and tobacco are the most abused. Following those, the drug most widely used by teens is marijuana, but amphetamines and prescription opioids are not far behind. Interestingly enough, the drug of choice seems to vary by age, with younger teens more apt to use inhalants such as glue. Older teens tend to use synthetic marijuana and prescription medications.
For instance, if your teen is on prescription Adderall, you must be vigilant to ensure that they are using the medicine as prescribed and not sharing the medication with their friends. Likewise, if anyone in the house has been prescribed opioids for pain, you must ensure that these are stored properly and not accessible by your children. Teens may turn to drugs for many reasons, including fitting in, feeling better, performing better, or merely experimenting. Making sure the medications in your own home are not being misused is one way you can protect your child from drugs.
What Are the Usual Signs of Drug Use in Teens?
You know your child better than anyone else, so you will likely see the changes before anyone else. While some of the signs will be specific to the drugs being used, some signs that are common to all drug use are:
- changes in eating or sleeping habits
- mood swings
- weight loss or weight gain
- hanging out with different friends
- losing interest in their favorite activities
You may also notice that your teen is no longer interested in their appearance. Teens who are using drugs may also start to have problems in school or have issues with friends. Any of these on their own may not be a sign that your child is using drugs. However, the more signs you are noticing, the greater the chance that, yes, your kid is on drugs.
In addition to the signs above, you may see more outward physical symptoms. Those misusing opioids will have pinpoint pupils. Teens using alcohol, marijuana, or other depressants may exhibit slurred speech or drowsiness. Your child repeatedly complaining of being sick in a flu-like way or appearing sweaty could also be signs of drug use. Answering the question “is my kid on drugs” requires being a detective and piecing together the clues in front of you. Sometimes, it may just be a sense that you have that something is not right. When in doubt, go with your gut instinct because you know your child.
How Do I Get My Kid Help if They’re on Drugs?
If you discover that your kid has been using drugs, you’ll find a world of options available to get them on the road to recover. The Last House is here to help keep them on that road. We are a network of sober living homes in the heart of West Los Angeles. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life and participate in their sobriety. Activities such as service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings are all a part of helping you learn how to have fun in sobriety. If you’re helping your teen create a sober life, The Last House is here to help. Contact us today.