If you suspect your son or daughter might be suffering from an addiction, it can be a very scary time. But ignoring the signs is the worst thing you could do. In order to get your son or daughter the help they need, you should first determine if they are addicted. Look for the following common signs of addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Daily Pattern Changes
The first signs to pay attention to with your son and daughter are their daily patterns. You may notice things like not sleeping as well or sleeping more, eating less or more, or other daily habits they are suddenly changing. A teenager who previously woke up at 7 every morning that is sleeping in until 10 when they get the chance, may have something else going on. This isn’t a sign on its own, but in combination with others, may signal a drug abuse problem.
The physical changes are usually pretty obvious. If your child is no longer paying attention to their physical appearance, has poor personal or dental hygiene, or has a weird body odor, may be dealing with addiction. Additionally, you may notice larger or smaller pupils, pale and sallow skin, increased cavities or rotting teeth, body tremors and shakes, or scabs and needle marks on their arms and legs.
If your son or daughter is suddenly hanging out with a new group of people, you should pay attention. Suddenly going from one group of friends to an entirely new one, means some kind of change is happening. If this is in combination with other signs that seem unusual, drug or alcohol addiction might be the culprit. Pay attention to who your child or teen is hanging out with, and see if they also show some of the same signs of addiction that your son or daughter is.
Irregular Money Habits
If your son or daughter starts showing odd spending habits, having more or less money than usual, is asking to borrow money often without showing what they purchased, claims a friend needs money for something, or is stealing things or money from home, they may be using the money for their addiction. A lot of extra money around may signal drug dealing, which many teens become involved in after they have been using drugs themselves.
Issues with School and Grades
A sign that is very common with children and teens dealing with addiction, is a drop in school grads and performance. If they have been found skipping class, not going to school, or their grades have suddenly dropped, it might be a sign of drug abuse or addiction.
If your child is showing these signs of drug or alcohol addiction, call a rehab center immediately. The sooner you get them help, the less long-term effects the addiction and substance abuse is going to have on your son or daughter.