No one wants to believe that his teen could ever use drugs, but the reality is that there is enormous peer pressure on young people these days to try all kinds of recreational drugs. As a parent, that can be a scary proposition indeed.
What can a parent do?
There are home drug test kits that a parent can use to test your child for the presence of drugs, but how do you do that without breaking the trust between you and your teen? There is a way you can take a proactive approach to keeping your kids off drugs while not driving a wedge between you.
The first thing to know is that if your teen is just experimenting with drugs, as opposed to being actually addicted, he may not exhibit any symptoms. Most will appear to be perfectly healthy and as though nothing has changed. The trick is to look for signs of casual drug use. The following is a list of ways you can monitor your teen for drug use without losing his trust.
1. As soon as your teen comes home, give her a hug. If she has been smoking marijuana or drinking alcohol, you’ll smell it. Be wary of a strong perfume or gum smell, which may be an attempt at hiding something.
2. Be suspect of a teen who routinely head to his room straight away when he comes home. Although not necessarily a sign of anything untoward, a tendency toward withdrawing from social interaction can be a sign of drug use. Ask him questions and get him to make eye contact. Look for signs such as bloodshot eyes, but also pay attention to body language that may suggest that something is wrong.
3. Be unpredictable. Once your teen starts to be able to predict your movements, he will know when there are pockets of time in which he will be alone. That can provide the perfect opportunity to engage in some recreational drug use. Change up your routine every now and then so your teen can’t plan around you.
4. Be aware of where your teens are when they aren’t at home. Meet their friends and get to know their friends’ parents.
5. Keep abreast of how your teen is doing in school. Any sudden changes in social or academic behaviour could be an indication of drug use. Get to know your child’s teacher.
If your teen has just started to experiment with drugs, there may be no outward physical signs of addiction such as weight loss and problems with their teeth. However, there are still some telltale signs that you may want to look into the matter further. As a parent, it’s your job to take steps to steer your child away from drugs. It can be tricky, but using these steps you should be able to detect any clues that there is a potential problem brewing.