As your child passes through one stage of their life and into young adulthood, they experience many life changes during these turbulent years. You may notice mood swings and little changes in their behavior, but these signs can pass as normal. However, if they are experiencing mood swings, changes in behavior as well as other suspicious activity, it is important that you pay attention as this may indicate that your child has a bigger problem on their hands.
The number of Americans who struggle with drugs and alcohol is largely made up of young adults. Although it can be frightening to think that you child may have a problem, it is crucial to monitor signs of substance abuse. We have rounded up six general telltale signs that your child may be using.
Drastic Change in Mood
While it may be normal for your child to display mood swings at this stage in their life, drastic changes in mood can be an indicator for substance abuse issues. Behavior such as angry outbursts, laughing at nothing, becoming increasingly more argumentative, irritable, short-tempered and experiencing sudden and extreme mood swings, are all red flags.
Unexplained Financial Difficulties
If your child is struggling with substance abuse, another common warning sign is that they may start to have unexplained financial problems. Suddenly, they are constantly tight on money and requesting more money from their parents. The situation worsens if they are not working or attending school. The ability to pay for themselves decreases and they may resort to stealing from their parents or sibling’s usual storage place.
Questionable Hygiene or Appearance
Many times, when an individual starts abusing drugs or alcohol, they make the drugs and/or alcohol their first and only priority. Because of this, they tend to forego taking care of their physical appearance. Their hygiene will worsen due to a lack of care for their outward appearance. A few examples which you may notice include:
- Decrease in showers
- Wearing dirty clothes
- Body odor
- Hair loss
- Dry eyes
- Skin infections
- Yellow or dirty teeth
Failing Grades or Skipping Class
It is very common for someone with substance abuse problems to either skip or start to fail their classes. Their academic performance takes a toll when their priorities start to shift from school to getting and using drugs. Substance abuse affects short-term and long-term cognition, causes difficulty in processing information, deteriorates the ability to understand simple thought and hinders overall brain development. This makes it difficult for a student to succeed in school.
Another one of the general signs that your child is using is an increase in secretive behavior. As your child start to struggle with drugs and alcohol, you may notice that they lock doors behind them, constantly leave the room to take phone calls or even use the backdoor to leave or come home.
Hiding Household Items Associated with Drug Use in their Room
One of the more obvious signs that your child is using is hiding household items that are normally associated with drug use in their room. These items may include:
- Razor blades
- Pen cases
- Small spoons
- Eye drops
- Aerosol cans
If you are concerned that your child is struggling with substance abuse, contact us today about joining New Life House, one of the largest young adult recovery communities in the nation. Together we support young men and their families find long-lasting success in recovery.