How to Tell if my Child is getting high

How To Tell If My Child Is High

“How to tell if my child is high,” is the question many parents are asking. Deanna explains what to look for and how a recovery community can help.

There are not many things more alarming than suspecting your child might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As a parent, your instinct is to protect your child and ensure their safety, and it is impossible to do that if they are intoxicated.

While the only way to know with absolute certainty if your child is drunk and/or high is through drug testing, there are other ways to deduce whether your child is under the influence




Depending on what substance your child is using, there are different signs to look for to tell whether or not they are intoxicated.


  • slurred speech
  • glassy eyes and dilated pupils
  • smell of alcohol on the breath
  • decreased coordination

Stimulants (Methamphetamine, Adderal, Cocaine, etc)

  • Increased energy
  • Drastic and rapid mood swings
  • Involuntary body movements (“jitters”)
  • Clenching of the jaw
  • Dilated pupils
  • Inability to fall or stay asleep

Opiates (Heroin, pain killers, etc)

    • Slowed reactions
    • Loss of alertness
    • Extreme sleepiness or “nodding out”
    • Slowed respiratory behavior
    • Itching




If your child exhibits any of the following signs of overdose, seek immediate medical assistance:

    • Uncontrolled vomiting and/or vomiting blood
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Extreme confusion and/or disorientation
    • Extremely slowed respiratory function
    • Extremely increased and/or decreased body temperature




If you suspect your child is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the most important thing to do is determine whether they are at risk for overdose. If they are not, it might be best to wait until the drugs or alcohol are out of their system before attempting to discuss the situation.

Once your child has sobered up, the next course of action is up to you as a parent to determine. It is important to let them know that you are aware that they were using drugs and alcohol and that the behavior is unacceptable.

If they are under the influence on a regular basis, it might be time to start looking into treatment options. Therapy, 12 step groups and recovery communities are all beneficial tools to help your family battle substance abuse.



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