Many families across the United States deal with the repercussions of addiction. Substance abuse affects everyone involved – even those who aren’t directly dependent themselves. Parents and guardians, in particular, suffer extraordinarily. Yet how do you know if your child has a problem in the first place?
Take a look at how you can identify the indications of a drug disorder.
Look for Behavioral Clues
Individuals become addicted to drugs for several reasons. Biology plays a significant role, as does their personal development. Environment matters as well. While the cause of your child’s substance abuse may not be apparent, you can likely narrow down a source. Did they recently undergo surgery or hang out with a new group of friends? There’s a significant chance that an event triggered this dependency.
Even if you can’t narrow down a specific scenario, you’ve probably noticed that your child has started to act differently. Behavioral hints include:
- A disrespectful attitude
- Poor academic performance
Of course, these signs don’t automatically mean that there’s a drug disorder at play. Sometimes, adolescents act this way as they adjust to life changes. If you’re unable to relate their behavior to a particular change, talk to a pediatrician.
Think About Physical Symptoms
The side effects of addiction are immense. Over time, substance abuse issues cause damage to the brain, lungs and immune system. At the same time, users exhibit certain symptoms. Some of these last for a day or two, while others are more long-term.
If your child depends on drugs, you’ll probably be able to notice a few physical indications, such as:
- Sweaty palms
- A frequent runny nose
- Lack of sleep and appetite
- Red, watery eyes with large pupils
If your child constantly seems sick or out of it, they may have a problem. Try to consider these traits alongside other evidence. A teenager who always misses school and doesn’t appear healthy likely has an underlying issue. The more you can put together, the better you’re able to identify what’s wrong.
Seek Out Drug Paraphernalia
Another aspect to consider is drug paraphernalia. Though children often hide their actions, it’s possible to gain insight in other ways. Particular devices serve as clues in this instance. For example, heroin addicts often use spoons and syringes to get high. If you find a string or a gum wrapper in their room, however, you wouldn’t think twice, right?
The reality is that children are more creative than we assume. Because they don’t want anyone to know about their problem, they go with lesser-known measures. Therefore, try to look for items that don’t necessarily stick out to you at first. Similarly, take note of bottles of mouthwash and eye drops.
If different versions of drug paraphernalia begin to pop up around your home, there may be an issue.
Consider These Signs of Substance Abuse
Use these tips to determine if your child has a drug disorder. Don’t hesitate to consult a national hotline or a professional before you assume.