Drug abuse is when someone uses a drug for pleasure or to get high. Drug addiction occurs when someone has become dependent on a drug and cannot control whether, how, when to use it, or how much. Whether a child tries a drug once or repeatedly, drugs have deadly consequences.
Risk Factors for Drug Use
Drug use develops over time. These are some general factors that may place a teen at risk:
- Too little parental supervision
- Lack of communication between parents and children
- Parental alcohol or drug use
- Exposure to violence or trauma
- Peers and peer pressure, especially if the teen hangs around with at-risk friends
- Medical history of depression, anxiety disorder or mental illness
- Poor Impulse control
Signs of drug use
As a parent, you need to know the signs or symptoms of drug use. These are possible signs:
- Evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
- Behavioral problems and poor grades in school.
- Emotional distancing, isolation, depression, or fatigue.
- They are overly influenced by peers.
- Hostility, irritability, or change in their willingness to cooperate around the house.
- Lying or increased evasiveness about after-school or weekend whereabouts.
- Decrease in interest in personal appearance.
- Physical changes, such as bloodshot eyes, runny nose, frequent sore throats, and rapid weight loss.
- Changes in mood, eating, or sleeping patterns.
- Dizziness and memory problems.
- Unusual odor on breath (alcohol, inhalants, marijuana).
- Widely dilated pupils even in bright light.
- Pinpoint pupils even in dim light.
Should you drug test your child?
The majority of test results are negative, and therefore do not need confirmation or lab tests. However, it is the threat of the test that makes this an excellent drug prevention tool.
There are several essential things to remember, and to remind your child, regarding drug testing:
1. You are the parent and it’s
your responsibility to keep your child safe. You feed him, clothe him and
provide all the things he needs. This gives you the right and responsibility to
know what he is involved in.
2. You are the one that will have to pay any medical or legal bills that result from any drug use on his part.
Random testing puts “teeth” in your home drug-testing program!
Any time you have a preliminary positive drug test result, the test should be sent to a lab for confirmation. But first, calmly show your child the results of the test and ask him what he thinks about the results. Tell him you’ll send the test to a lab to have it confirmed. In most cases, when confronted with a positive test result, the child will confess if actual drug use has occurred, and further testing isn’t necessary.
American Drug Test offers many products to support pre-employment drug testing such as multi-panel drug testing cups, dip cards, hair drug tests, saliva drug tests, 12-panel urine drug tests and urine collection specimen cups.
We are an FDA approved manufacturer of rapid drug testing supplies in the U.S. American Drug Test has over 30 years of drug testing, medical sales experience, and the knowledge and resources necessary to support any industry.
Early treatment is best
If you recognize signs of drug use, you need to act quickly and firmly. The longer someone uses drugs, the higher the risk they face for negative consequences and the harder it is for them to quit. A qualified family therapist can evaluate and assess your child, then provide appropriate treatment. This may include outpatient therapy or therapy in a residential treatment facility.