Jon C Signs Your Child May Be Experimenting with Substances
As a parent, it can be hard to discern whether or not your adolescent whether or not your child is experimenting with substances. Developmentally speaking, the adolescent period is marked by a time in which children are supposed to rebel. There’s often going to be some personality changes that are typical with that developmental period as people attempt to explore and figure out who they are in this world. But there are some signs that can help a parent to identify whether or not a person truly it might be at risk of exploring with substances.
Usually there can be pretty intense mood swings that are atypical and more severe and extreme than the mood swings that accompany regular adolescent development process.
A person that is experimenting with substances often will start having a change in friends, their grades might be affected, they are more apt to break rules, to break curfew, to skip school. You might see really rapid mood swings like a person can feel really irritable and go to the bathroom or their room and then come out just fine. That can be an indication that there might be substance use.
Physical symptoms that a person is using substances could include glossy eyes, bloodshot eyes , dilated pupils, depending on the substance that the person might be experimenting with. Constricted pupils are more indicative of opioids, whereas dilated pupils might be more indicative of stimulant or hallucinogen use.
A person might experience rapid weight loss or rapid weight gain. A person might start wearing long sleeves even during warm season to cover up track marks. Usually, hygiene starts to wane as substance use disorders progress.
If you are a parent that is attempting to suspect that your child might be using substances, do investigation. You can ask your child. Usually defensiveness is an indication that you may be on the mark. If a person is highly defensive when you approach them about the possibility that they might be using substances, trust your gut instinct. That intuition is a wonderful resource as a parent and as a professional. If you feel like something’s off, chances are there is.
One of the things that you can do is call any outpatient agency or any assessment agency in Washington state. Have your child go in front of a professional and they will be able to get a drug sample. They’ll be able to assess through a rigorous process to discern and determine whether or not your child is, in fact using substances. And if so, how significant that substance use is in your child’s life.