How Parents can tell if Their Child is Becoming Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

Diablo Valley Treatment on April 18, 2019

Sadly, thousands of parents only realize their child is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction when it’s too late. What parents may pass off for being tired turns out to have been dozing off due to a pill addiction. Or, what some parents think is irresponsibility ends up being financial hardship due to the high cost of illicit street drugs. While it’s easy to give your children the benefit of the doubt (they come from you, none-the-less), often times, parents find out that their child is dependent upon addictive substances after an overdose. And, by then, learning the signs and symptoms of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is too late. If you are a parent, especially in this day and age of a national opioid crisis, it’s increasingly important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug addiction. This way, children can get the help they need to get better, recovery, and avoid the risk of a drug-related death.

Mirroring Behaviors: Teenagers and Drug Abusers

Many parents may not be able to tell that their teenager is using drugs because many of the signs of drug use mirror average teenage behavior. What you think is just your child growing up can turn out to be drug abuse. By the time drug abuse is realized, it’s often too late to give the help any loving parent would provide. Some similar traits between teenage behavior and drug abuse can include sporadic sleep schedules, mood swings, avoiding responsibilities and social gatherings, and asking for money.

While your teenager may behave as all teenagers do, it’s certainly a good idea to be skeptical about these behaviors. And, look for further clues to identify drug abuse. This way, you can accurately identify the issue and provide the help your child needs.

How Parents can tell if Their Child is Becoming Addicted to Drugs or AlcoholOther Signs and Symptoms of Teenage Drug Abuse

Signs and symptoms of teenage drug abuse will differ between person to person based on what substances are being used. However, some of the most common signs parents of teenage drug abusers recall include:

  • Missing spoons used to heat up heroin before injection
  • Constant runny nose due to snorting cocaine or other substances
  • Wearing new clothing that parents haven’t bought due to theft
  • Missing items around the home as a way to pay for drugs
  • Increased bathroom time due to constipation led on by opioid use
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Finding cut up straws or q-tips without cotton used for snorting substances
  • Neglecting to eat and sporadic eating schedules

Risk for Drug Addiction in Teenagers

Parents often struggle not only with identifying the symptoms of their child’s drug abuse, but also the cause. However, there are a number of causes of drug abuse. And, furthermore, a number of things which can put teenagers at a higher risk for drug abuse. In most cases, the causes of drug abuse aren’t identified until the individual seeks help through treatment. But, a parent can understand that their child may be at a higher risk for abusing drugs. Some of the things that can increase the risk for teenage drug abuse include:

Genetics: Kids who have direct family members who struggle with addiction have an increased chance of developing addictive behaviors themselves.

Parents: Children who are raised in single family households may have an increased risk for developing drug or alcohol dependence issues as they may be unsupervised more often than children with two parents at home.

Environment: Surroundings can play a part in how children view the use of drugs and alcohol. If a child is exposed to drug and alcohol use at a young age due to social environments, they may be at an increased risk for developing drug or alcohol problems themselves.

Is Your Child Becoming Addicted to Drug or Alcohol?

Do you recognize some of the signs and symptoms of teenage drug abuse in your home? Do you think your child may be at a higher risk for drug or alcohol abuse? In any case, as a parent, it’s important to remember that drug abuse can impact anyone at any age. And, even if you do your best to offer support and educate your child on the dangers of drug abuse, your child still could develop addiction. Often, it’s the parents who would never think their child would be at risk who are affected. So, each and every parent should know the signs and symptoms.

Starting with a Clean Slate After Opioid Abuse Treatment

When the signs of symptoms of drug abuse are recognized, seek help right away. Here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services, we can help to give you and your family a way to fight addiction through medical supervision and a network of support. To find out more about how we can help, contact us now.