This is the fourth in a series of blog entries looking at the problem of prescription medication abuse by our nation’s youth. Today we look at warning signs that parents can look for to spot a drug problem before a serious incident occurs.
Although our focus here is on prescription medication, it is important also to be concerned about signs of alcohol or marijuana use as well as use of harder drugs. Some of these may seem like no-brainers, but never ignore the obvious!
Warning signals include:
- The smell of alcohol or odor of marijuana
- Stealing or borrowing money
- Defensiveness about activities and possessions
- Unusual mood changes or temper outbursts
- Marked changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Decline in academic performance
- Heavy use of perfumes, mouthwash or other scents to hide drug use
- A bedroom littered with burned matches, pipes or other drug paraphernalia
- Changes in friend groups
- Significant change in personal appearance or hygiene
- Loss of interest in usual activities or hobbies
- Difficulty with concentration
- Frequent visits to doctors for medical issues and prescriptions
If you spot one or more of these warning signs you need to act quickly, otherwise, the progression of drugs they’re exposed to could become lethal. If it is necessary, you need to stage an intervention as soon as possible. If you delay you could miss the opportunity to get your child on the right path to wellness and sobriety.
Your child is not the only one who needs help. Anyone who has suffered through the substance abuse of a loved one knows how crucial it is to get support.
Joining a parent support group gives parents strength and hope as they meet others who walked the same path but then did something new, by putting up a roadblock that got their kid the help he or she needed.
If you or someone you love has a substance abuse problem, seek help immediately. If you prefer to maintain total anonymity there are online drug classes too. Minor in possession classes are available here: http://www.onlinedrugclass.com/MIPClass