How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

Drug culture came to the youth environment in the 60s of the last century. Having gained popularity thanks to rock musicians and hippies, today uses drugs actively invade the life of the younger generation.

According to WHO estimates, 9 million people in America are taking illegal drugs, 20% of which are minor children.

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

A study conducted in 2007 among high school students and students showed that approximately one in five of them had experience of smoking cannabis. And 5% of the children studied at least once in their life used other drugs: in school, nightclub or in the company of peers.

Why do teens come to addiction?

An immature person is often unable to understand the terrible threat that a beautifully painted brand or multi-colored candy-like tablets carry. Often an adult child is driven by:

  • a desire to feel like an adult;
  • thirst for experiments;
  • a desire to be on the same wavelength as peers;
  • a feeling of protest.

All these features of the child’s psyche have long been understood by drug dealers who give the first dose for free. More than half of the teenagers named the reason they tried drugs – the psychological pressure of dependent “friends.”

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

They wanted to become cooler and more popular, to gain credibility. In order not to be bothered by the question of whether your child is using drugs, try to control his environment. Choose a school with a clean reputation and strict rules.

Touching the topic of uses drugs in a conversation with your child, never deceive or exaggerate the danger of this or that substance. Explain that drugs, like poisons, are used as medicinal drugs in small doses, and in large doses they are deadly. Thus, you build a relationship of trust that will help you avoid serious problems in the future.

If, despite all your efforts, the behavior of a teenager seems strange to you, analyze it according to the following criteria.

Signs that a child is using drugs

Alarms can appear in many different areas of adolescent behavior.

Communication with peers

Starting to uses drugs, the teenager breaks off relations with old acquaintances because of condemnation and lack of common interests. A child does not want to acquaint his parents with new friends; he does not share where and how he spends time with them.

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

Attitude to study

Should be alerted by the loss of interest in learning, the drop in performance, absenteeism. As a rule, drug-addicted children lack the motivation to continue their education at a college or institute.

Family communication

The teenager becomes irritable, withdrawn, often lies. At the same time, it does not even try to lie in such a way that its words sound true. Coming home, he tries to quickly slip and close in his room, so as not to betray his inadequate state.


Teenagers pay special attention to everything related to appearance: hair, clothes, skin condition. Adolescents who have started using drugs stop worrying about how they look may neglect personal hygiene. Alertness can cause constant wearing of dark glasses in order to hide enlarged pupils or reddened eyes from others.


Young people who use drugs never use their real “book” names in conversation. There are hundreds of street terms that are difficult to understand for those who are “out of topic”. For example, marijuana is called “grass, straw”; synthetic drugs are called “smiles, spice”, Ecstasy is reduced to “ex.” An accidentally dropped slang word on this topic should make the parents wonder if the child is using drugs.

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

When covering the topic of drug addiction in the media, for example when watching TV programs, such a teenager shows an increased interest in her. Also should alert the exhaustive awareness of the types, methods of production, cost, and points of sale of narcotic drugs.


Constant asking for money for various needs is a rather indicative indicator by which one can understand that a child uses drugs. If a teenager’s requests are not satisfied, he can ask a loan from classmates, close and distant relatives, housemates and dacha. The explanations can be so real that people give money without asking for a long time to return. Therefore, it is worthwhile to find out from relatives and acquaintances whether the child is asking them to lend money.

In more serious cases, valuable things start to disappear from the house: jewelry, household appliances, everything that a dealer can sell to receive the coveted dose.

Strange behavior

Sensitive parents can understand that something wrong is going on with their offspring by the “sixth sense”. Many say that their yesterday’s obedient boy “became completely different”, “it is impossible to recognize him.” Unfortunately, precious time is spent on associating strangeness of behavior directly with uses drugs. Having understood that the child uses drugs at the initial stage, one can prevent misfortune, as they say, “little blood”.

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

Most children who start indulging in drugs treat it as entertainment. They lightly perceive such experiences, not realizing that abandoning them will not be easy. The situation is complicated by the fact that more and more new smoking mixtures and “legal powders” (spice, salt, mix, etc.) are being released onto the market. Despite the seeming innocence, the cloud thinking, cause a passing feeling of happiness that you want to experience again and again.

Stealth adolescence or parental employment leads to the fact that they have to deal with the problem when it turns into a strong addiction. Therefore, when the first signs of trouble appear, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at your child.

Symptoms of uses drug intoxication

In addition to psychological and behavioral reactions, there are physical signs that visually indicate that a particular drug was used.

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

Should alert the following manifestations:

  • A condition was similar to alcohol intoxication in the absence of the smell of alcohol.
  • Small tremor, resembling a feverish state.
  • Unexplained mood changes: unreasonable laughter, euphoria, aggressiveness, suspicion. In the morning, the child may be apathetic, and after a few hours – excited and joyful.
  • Uncharacteristic physical activity: excessive gesticulation, fussiness, restlessness, excessive slackness or complete immobility.
  • Lack of coordination: instability, wiggle when walking, the disproportion of movements (sweeping, inaccuracy).
  • Teachers often note a sharp deterioration in handwriting.
  • Pale skin or redness of the skin, especially of the face.
  • Permanently dilated or constricted pupils that do not respond to light stimuli.
  • Red eyes.
  • Changes in the nature of speech: its acceleration, haste or slowdown, slurred pronunciation.
  • Changing food habits. A child may refuse to eat for a long time, and then suddenly show “wolf hunger.”

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

General signs do not allow understanding of what kind of drug a child uses. Experts note that different groups of narcotic drugs may produce completely opposite manifestations. For example, pupil dilation is characteristic of LSD, cocaine, and narrowing is characteristic of hard drugs: opium, morphine, and others.

The condition caused by the most common drugs

Hemp. The fact that a child uses marijuana is indicated by a red eye not passing, a lack of coordination, a loss of orientation in time, and a hasty speech. At the end of the action of a drug, there is usually a strong appetite. The result of prolonged use is the deterioration of memory, the ability to concentrate and solve school problems.

Synthetic drugs. The most insidious drugs that can give a wide range of different effects. The so-called “designer drugs”, which include chemically synthesized varieties of illicit drugs (K2, spice, bath salts, N-bomb).

After consuming such semi-legal substances, quite serious consequences can be observed:

  • hallucinations and disorientation;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • great excitement;
  • bouts of depression, panic;
  • insomnia, headaches;
  • violation of the digestive tract.

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

LSD. Under the action of this strongest psychedelic person experiences visual and auditory hallucinations, falls into an altered state of consciousness. Visually observed:

  • dilated pupils,
  • temperature rise,
  • heart palpitations
  • trembling limbs.

Heavy thoughts may come to mind, embrace unaccountable horror, fear of death. The psychologist can easily understand that a child uses LSD by asking a number of special questions.

Inhalants. Substance abuse is a pathological addiction to the inhalation of toxic fumes. They cause hallucinations, which children call “mututki.” Symptoms resemble alcohol poisoning, while the child may smell of glue, acetone, gasoline. For the addict is characterized by violent defiance, inadequate reactions to the comments of others. Inhalants cause brain hypoxia, loss of smell, nausea, nasal bleeding.

Obvious signs of uses drugs

If you find traces of pricks or bruises on your veins in your child, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a specialist in neurology. The fact that a child uses drugs say the items he found:

  • Ampoules, disposable syringes.
  • Psychotropic drugs.
  • Herbal blends, powders in plastic packaging.
  • Cigarettes in a cigarette pack.
  • Sooty spoons.

The only infallible evidence of drug addiction is a positive drug test. Modern medicine can detect traces of narcotic substances in the body in many ways: by urine, blood, saliva, hair.

How To Understand That A Child Uses Drugs?

Many schools conduct voluntary drug testing. Regardless of the suspicion of parents, it is desirable for all high school students to take such tests.

Ashlyn Walker

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