Parents sometimes can’t keep track of everything that has been going on in their teens’ lives. Often, their children would even lie or hide things from them as these kids try to enjoy their freedom and experiment with their identity.
It’s not a surprise that teens may even experiment with substances as the price for admission into the “cool crowd” or the party.
But as a parent, how do you know if your child has been drinking? What if he’s been doing drugs?
Here are some signs you should look out for to know whether your child has been drinking or doing drugs:
The Nose Knows so Be Nosy
Although you might insight the ire of your child by being nosy, you can stay quiet and let your nose really do the work. After he comes home from a night out with friends, make a point of having a conversation with him face to face, even just to open the door for him and ask him how the party was.
If he has been drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes or weed, you will smell this on his breath. And even if you don’t get to talk, the smell will be soaked into his clothing and hair. Even if he isn’t the one who smoked the marijuana you smelled on his clothes, it’s evidence that he’s around people who did and this should be something you should be concerned about. Meanwhile, if he’s been using shabu, you should smell a strange, chemical, pungent odor coming off his skin and even permeating his clothes.
You should also be wary if he comes homes with mints or applying lotion or perfume because he may be covering up some telltale odor.
There will definitely be a visual cue that your teen has been using or even abusing drugs or alcohol. Pay attention to his eyes: is it bloodshot? strangely dilated or constricted? Are his eyes heavy lidded?
If he is using drugs such as heroin, he may have track marks on his arms and other parts of his body. He may even try to hide it with long-sleeved clothing that he wears even in warm weather. Furthermore, snorting cocaine would leave him having nosebleeds, while smoking pot or meth would cause him to have sores or spots on his mouth. Use of ecstasy meanwhile will cause him to have involuntary teeth clenching and fascination with sights and sounds, especially bright lights.
Watch out for moodiness and behavior changes
When he comes home to you after a night out with friends, is he too loud or too energetic? Is his movement slow or his speech slurred? You should also pay attention to his behavior overtime, which may include:
- being secretive
- sudden change in eating patterns
- sudden changes in sleeping patterns
- being easily irritated or agitated
- being defensive
- being violent
- decreased motivation
- missing school and other responsibilities
- stealing money or other valuables
If your child has a car, then he may be involved in reckless driving charges and car accidents caused by poor motor skills because of intoxication.
You can examine his car to look for any paraphernalia or clue of his drug or alcohol use. You can also do this to his room or his bag.
If you suspect your child is abusing drugs or alcohol, seek help immediately.