Parenting is very difficult task, especially during the transition phase of the adolescence to adulthood of the children. Today, there are so many things that parents had to take care for their children’s upbringing. Internet, social network sites, pornography, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, bad company, reckless driving etc. are things which ruin sleep of most of the parents. It is impossible for parents to always track or supervise the child to know what they are doing. The parents always have a hidden fear in their mind whether their children do not get influenced by bad things and spoil their life and future.
Many parents are unaware of the children’s social life and habits, and children are so smart to hide such type of things by using the loop holes. Here is a story of a teenage boy named John, who is a drug addict from 13 and his parents were shocked to know about this fact. During the intervention with doctor, he confessed and shared the secret that how he hid his addiction from parents. He said that at 13, he started drinking and chose clear liquor as it looks same as water. He lied to his parents about his outings, parties, etc. To hide the smell of the drug or alcohol, he used chewing-gums and always gives short reply or avoids conversation with the parents.
After reading the above story, a question or a doubt comes in every parent’s mind that is my child also taking drugs or alcohol? Is he/she hiding it from us? Are we unaware of this issue? etc. If the same questions are running in your mind, don’t worry and be calm. Different signs and changes are noted in the children when they start using drugs that the parents must note it out. But regrettably, many parents take it as the general adolescent behavior changes and it becomes too late to realize that child has already become a drug-addict. You just have to keep patience and start looking for the warning signs whether your child has started taking drugs or not.
Children using drugs/alcohol – Warning Signs:
The children appearance changes like wearing black color clothes, using funky hair-colors, piercing on different body parts or do a lot of make-up, etc. They start wearing sunglasses most of the time to hide red/blood shot eyes, or dilated pupils and keep eye-drops with them. Increase the use of mint/chewing gum and perfume spray, to hide the smell of the drugs. As they ignore the personal health and hygiene, there can be variation in sleep pattern and eating habits, also unexpected weight gain or weight loss. Their body shivers, can’t maintain the body balance and do illogical talk. You can also notice injection marks, frequent nosebleeds, swollen face, itching or unusual changes in the skin color. All these symbols lead to the drug or alcohol addiction.
Become less interactive with family and friends
The child becomes less interactive or avoids conversation with the family members. He/she makes new friends or neglects the old ones. They don’t follow the rules of home or disobey and not paying attention in the family activities. Try to act more rebellious than before, behave rudely or disrespect with you or family. Don’t informing about where he/she is going or making constant excuses. Drugs can be the root cause for all these changes.
Bad performance in academics
The changes or decline in the grades is a red alert for the parents. Supervise his/her behavior towards the studies. Is his/her performance in studies becomes low? Is he/she going to school/college regularly? Is he/she lost interest in studies? Is he/she lost interest in extra curricular activities? Is he/she found sleeping during the class? Have your child got detent due to irregularity or misbehavior at school? If the answer is yes, you have to do something immediately. Often, ask the child about the progress and studies. Keep in touch with the school and ask for the attendance record and results regularly.
Isolated Behavior and Lies
The children always want to remain alone in adolescence. But staying alone all the time is a warning sign because he/she must be avoiding you to hide something. If he/she does not allow you to enter the room, then there is definitely something fishy, that you have to check. Other signs may include lying for no reasons, making excuses for not doing given work, and hiding or not allow touching their things. This solitary or isolated behavior indicates that the parents have to take some action.
Having bad company
If your children have started taking drugs or alcohol, suddenly their group activities will also be changed. They will have new friends of different age-groups and avoid the old friends. Hang out most of the time with the friends having similar habits. Always hide or avoid talking about their group, if being asked by you. The parents have to know about the children’s friends or groups. Parents must fix the timings of hang-out, inquire about places, timings, friend’s name or contact numbers, etc.
Have you ever noticed unexpected changes in the mood of your child? Sometimes he/she behaves well and suddenly become angry or depressed. You think it can be due to the adolescence age. Rethink about it, drugs or alcohol may be reasons for their sudden mood swings and changed attitude. They become more lazy and unenthusiastic. They stay most of the time in their room or out of the house with the friends. Sometimes, they can become more hyper or violent and misbehave with others.
Demanding more money or stealing
If your child always keep asking for money or money is disappearing from your purse, then this is a high time for you to ask your children about this issue. When he/she demands money from you, ask them about the spending reasons and if you found that the reason is genuine then only provide money. Also keep track of their expenses.
The parents try to supervise the children but it is not possible all the time. Above signs can help you know the fact before it is too late. And every problem has a solution, so don’t worry if these signs are in your children. Better Communication between you and your child, providing good atmosphere, intervention, doctor counseling, etc. can remove the drugs and alcohol addiction from your children. It will take time, but as a parent you should always be there for your child as an emotional and strong support to overcome this situation.
Signs of Drug and Alcohol Use in Teens Video from YouTube:
Teen Health Articles – Sooper Articles