How Do I Know If My Child Is An Addict?

How Do I Know If My Child Is An Addict?

The fact is, nearly every high-schooler in America will be exposed to drugs at some point, and this means that the parents must be educated to know when their kid has a problem, what to do when they identify it, and how to best approach the topic of conversation. How can you tell your child has a problem with drugs and or alcohol? Truth be told, this isn’t that hard to spot. My parents used to always comment about how “I lost the sparkle I had as a child.” They knew something was missing, and at the time they didn’t know how to correlate that with the bigger issue at hand: addiction.

The first thing to look out for is a lack of involvement. This withdrawal typically happens with the family, with the school, and with friends that actually care about the person first. You’ll notice an increased amount of isolation in their room with the door shut and even possibly locked. There will be a decrease in attendance to family dinners or events, and with this, there will be an increase in excuses. These excuses typically take the form of “the victim, ” and the child will be likely to try to get you to feel sorry for them through their excuse.

The next thing to keep an eye on is a deterioration in their physical condition. Lack of sleep, lack of personal care, and lack of overall health will have a noticeable effect on one’s personal appearance, and you will be able to spot this deterioration in their physical condition quickly, and it will slowly get worse over time.

If they’re the type of kid to invite friends over to the house, then keep an eye on who’s coming over, and how their social circle changes over a period of time. Their social circle will change with their acquired drug habit because they must do that in order to continue to use the way they want to. We naturally seek out those who have the same habits, so they will likely change their friend group to hang with other kids that have the same habits as their own.

Their communication skills will also fall to the wayside, and this will ultimately happen because they will be telling so many lies that they can’t keep their story straight, so they will often not tell a story at all. You’ll notice an increase in erratic behavior, which is ultimately a defense mechanism to keep people at arms-distance that could potentially cut through the web of lies they’ve already told. Keep an eye on the story they’re telling, and the odds are that there will be a vast number of holes in their story, and something just won’t quite add up.

Another thing that will be drastically affected by addiction is the way, and what, your child eats. Different drugs will affect this differently, and some will cause an increase in appetite (marijuana), some will decrease (amphetamines), and others will make them crave sugars (opiates). Alcohol will mainly affect one’s diet the day after a binge. Each and every substance will affect the diet one has, and if you keep an eye on their dietary habits, you’ll quickly notice a change (for the worse) once there is one.

Are you an ATM? Is your child treating you like one? Are valuable all of a sudden missing? If so, there is a likely chance that the money isn’t going to any of the right places. Drugs and alcohol, cost quite a bit of money when you’re trying to sustain a habit, so high-school kids will be forced to get the money from somewhere if they plan on using; the easiest place to get this money most of the time is from their home. Do not just give your child money without reason, and don’t hesitate to ask for receipts. Keep an eye on the way your child is spending, and how much they are spending, and particularly where that money is going.

In conclusion, each of the above-listed ways to notice your child has a substance problem requires a serious level of mindfulness even to notice, because you will have to be tracking changes in their behavior over time. So, if you’re concerned, be mindful, be aware, and be smart because you will have to approach the subject correctly. If you notice a problem, don’t hesitate to ask them if they need help, because it’s typically a much better tactic than forcing help upon them.

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