Drugs and Alcohol

From casual use of marijuana to the heroin and opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse, parents have a lot to worry about. Substance abuse can alter your child’s personality and brain chemistry and can derail their future. You might be wondering: How do I know if my child is using drugs? How do I talk to my teen about heroin? How can I help my child overcome prescription drug abuse?

These videos offer parental support and information on topics such as how to recognize the signs of substance abuse, how to handle heroin or opioid use, how to keep your child from abusing prescription drugs, what to say to your child who thinks marijuana is “no big deal”, and other ways in which you can help your child grow up with a healthy attitude toward drugs and alcohol.

How Do I Know if My Kid is on Drugs?

Parents often want to know, “How Do I Know If My Kid Is on Drugs?”

Most of the time there will be some signs and symptoms that you will be able to identify. Some of the changes you may see in an adolescent are change in attitude, change in friends, and change in activities. Often when an adolescent begins using their peer group will change, their grades may begin to drop and they may stop participating in activities that were once important to them, like sports or extracurricular activities. Sometimes it may seem difficult to differentiate between normal adolescent behavior changes and substance use. Research has shown that open communication about parents disapproval of substance use is one of the leading reasons that teens choose not to use. So, it is very important to have open conversations with your child about your views on substance use.

You may also be able to identify some physical changes too, depending on the substance being used. If alcohol or marijuana are being used, you may notice slurred speech, red eyes, or unsteady gait. If someone is using opiates you may notice watery eyes, itchy nose or “nodding out”. When a person is not using some of these substance you may begin to notice withdrawal symptoms, if they are using regularly. Some of these symptoms may include, agitation, shakiness, upset stomach, hot and cold flashes and other flu like symptoms.

Again, it is important to communicate your values regarding substance use to your child. If you continue to suspect substance use you can purchase a urine drug screen and the local pharmacy and do a drug test at home. You can also seek out professional help if needed. Linden Oaks at Edward provides free assessments 24/7. You can call 630.305.5027 to schedule an appointment

Beth Sack
Manager of Addiction Services
Linden Oaks at Edward Hospital
852 West Street
Naperville, IL 60540

630.305.5500
bsack@edward.org
www.lindenoaks.org

DISCLAIMER:
Conversations with experts are intended for general information only, and are not meant to provide specific advice, diagnosis, and does not constitute professional care. If this is an emergency, please dial 911 immediately.