If your child is acting out of the ordinary, you may be wondering what’s going on and how you can help. If you think your child may be struggling with a drug addiction, there are certain signs in their behavior that might confirm your concerns.

Is My Child Addicted to Drugs?

Drug addiction has become more common in our society today than ever before. If your child is addicted to drugs, there is likely a laundry list of noticeable behavior changes that have begun to stand out to you that have raised the alarm for concern. There are a number of warning signs that may be more apparent than others to indicate whether your child is struggling with drug addiction:

  1.  Giving Up Hobbies and Activities – Over the years, you may notice that your child has developed a passion for different hobbies and activities. They may normally dedicate themselves to specific sport or extracurricular activity. When a child becomes addicted to drugs, it is typical that those passions tend to fall by the wayside rapidly as the use of drugs takes a prominent role in their lifestyle. Practice may impede on their time with friends getting high, and so they elect to miss practice as a result. If you notice that your child is giving up things they were once passionate about for no apparent reason, it is worth considering whether or not there is something concerning going on.
  2. Finding Paraphernalia – There is a culture that surrounds the use and abuse of drugs. If when cleaning up around the house you find things like smoking accessories, cut up straws, or needles, there is a good chance your child may be dealing with a drug addiction. At the same time, some paraphernalia isn’t as obvious. This can include clothing emphasizing musicians or art that promote drug use, as well as the music itself promoting use. If you come to notice a common theme amongst the things your child enjoys and those that promote drug use, there may be a coincidence worth investigating.
  3. Abandoning Friends – We tend to be the average of those we associate with. It’s not a coincidence that those dedicated to sports tend to stay in shape, those that who enjoy fishing regularly spend time on the water, and equally that those who are addicted to drugs tend to prefer spending time with others who enjoy doing the same. If you’ve noticed your child abandoning relationships with people that have predominantly spent time involved in positive activities for those that are not, there’s a good chance it’s because their hobbies have changed accordingly.
  4. Poor Grades in School – Those struggling with drug addiction tend to abandon anything that doesn’t involve or support their pursuit of getting high. School may quickly become a hassle that has seemingly become voluntary instead of a mandatory aspect of their life for bettering their future. They may start skipping class to get high, or skipping out on homework that impedes on time with their friends after school, as studying may simply get in the way of what has now become more important than anything else. If you have observed a rapid digression in your child’s commitment to school and their course of performance, there’s a good chance something is afoot. This is especially true if their poor performance seemingly coincides with any of the other indicators that they may be struggling with drug addiction.
  5. Becoming Difficult to Reach – If your child is struggling with drug addiction, there’s a good chance they don’t want you to know about it, and they will make it as difficult as possible to ensure that they don’t get found out. You may find that when you call during certain hours or when they’re with certain people, they may not answer. In many cases, in an attempt to mask what they’re up to, they may choose to keep all communication to texting so that you can’t hear their voice or whatever is going on in the background. If you are observing that when trying to reach your child it has become exceedingly difficult to get ahold of them, especially to speak over the phone, there may be cause for concern.
  6. Smells – When your child comes home from a late night and you give them a hug hello, you may notice they smell differently than normal. There may be an overabundance of cologne or perfume to mask the smell of tobacco or drugs. They may have a strong smell of Listerine for a last-minute attempt at covering up the smell of alcohol. If you notice these types of smells on your child, especially after a late night, it would make for a strong indicator that something is amiss.

Identifying the Warning Signs

For the most part, trusting your gut can be helpful for identifying if your child is struggling with drug addiction. If you notice that they no longer participate in the things that once made them happy, are emotionally distant, hang out with a questionable crowd, and have paraphernalia laying around the house, then there’s probably a good chance they may be addicted to drugs.

It’s important to be reasonable when considering a gut feeling. Many times, as parents, we can be concerned about anything that may seem off and wonder what’s going on. Only one off situation shouldn’t be taken into consideration for identifying a drug addiction necessarily. Once addicted to drugs, the behavior becomes a part of who they are. It becomes a constant. If any of the warning signs we’ve outlined above have become their new normal, there’s a justifiable cause for concern. However, if your child has decided football isn’t for them and they’re now more interested in the debate club, that would not be a strong indicator of a drug addiction.

If you believe you’re noticing an entirely new personality in your child, it’s important to be proactive immediately. The earlier you can intervene and help, the better chance you have of success. If you would like to learn more about how to identify the signs of drug addiction in your child, contact Sunlight Recovery today at (844) 426-0790 to learn more.