In the normal course of adolescence, kids often exhibit symptoms that would give any rational adult pause. However, the presence and intensity of a cluster of disturbing symptoms could indicate a problem.
First, rule out any physical illness with a trip to the doctor. Ask the doctor to evaluate for depression or other emotional causes as well. If there's a clean bill of health and the symptoms are still present, follow your gut and locate a professional with experience with adolescent drug use.
Signs and Symptoms Common to Adolescents Who are Using Drugs:
- Withdrawn, depressed, tired, or neglecting personal grooming
- Hostile, uncooperative and frequently breaking curfew
- Deteriorating relationships with family members
- Hanging out with a new group of friends and unwilling to introduce them
- Skipping school and experiencing dropping grades
- Losing interest in hobbies, sports and other favorite activities
- Changes in sleeping patterns (ie: awake at night, asleep during the day)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Extremely red eyes or runny nose without evidence of allergies or cold
- Taking household money without permission
The following items present among your child’s belongings could be a concern:
- Pipes or rolling papers
- Small medicine bottles or unidentified pills
- Eye drops
- Butane lighters
- Baby pacifiers
- Drug-related books, comics, magazines, T-shirts, etc.
- Locked boxes or containers
For more information contact us or request a copy of our Parent Resource Booklet which has more detailed information and a local list of resources. The Rapid City Public Library also has a section with books and other parent resources on substance abuse prevention or parenting.