Sometimes it is not quite clear if a child is struggling with drugs. Because of mood swings that children often experience, especially young teenagers, it is difficult to distinguish these signs from drug use. Therefore, there are signs that are easier to spot than others if a child is struggling with an addiction. By being able to notice these signs, you will be able to take the next steps to helping them find the help they need to decrease and stop their use of drugs.
Signs of Drug Use
To find out if your child is addicted to drugs, you can pay attention to what they do on a daily basis as far as productivity and any physical signs that point to drug use. Daily productivity can include how they are doing at school and if their grades are lower than they use to be.
Other significant changes in daily activity can include a sudden stop in participating in after-school activities or if they are not as involved in organizations such as sports and clubs. One of the reasons why they might not be participating in sports as they once did is because of physical and health issues that effect their athletic performance. A child might not be as involved in clubs and student organizations as they once were because of changed relationships with friends and classmates as well due to drugs.
Pay attention to how your child acts around others. If they do not keep up in daily hygiene as well such as washing and brushing their hair or cleaning their teeth as they once did, this is another sign of possible drug use. However,it is much easier to pay attention to physical signs of drug use than it is to what they do at school when you are not there. Some physical signs to pay attention to can include:
- Red eyes
- Decreased Coordiantion
- Slurred or Rapid Speech
- Weight Loss
Illnessses That Drugs Can Cause
It is very important to look for the signs of drug addiction in a child because drug use can lead to illnesses later on in life. Some illnesses include heart disease, HIV, and Hepatitis C.
Heart disease can be caused by cocaine use. The effect that cocaine has on the body is very intense as it constricts the blood vessels while increasing the heart rate and blood pressure at the same time. This can lead to chest pain, irregular heart beats and ultimately heart disease. Even if used just once, cocaine can cause many heart complications.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is caused by sharing needles with durgs such as cocaine and heroin. If a person has HIV, they will not be able to fight off diseases and viruses. The longer HIV is in the body, the more it effects the immune system and leaves a person vulnerable to illnesses. Similiar to HIV, Hepatitis C is caused by the transfering of fluids via needles and more likely if a one of the needle users had Hepatitis C to begin with. Both illnesses can be avoided by not using needles used by other people.
If a child begins drug use and comes into contact with these or other illnesses, there are facilities that will be able to help them. Help for drug related diseases can be found at facilities and clinics who are helping people end their addictions.
Risk Factors of Drug Addiction
There are many factors that go into a child becoming addicted to drugs other besides changes in daily activities. Risk factors can include peer pressure at school, living with a pyshcological factor such as depression or ADHD, how involved a family is in a child’s life, family history, and if the child is male are all factors to go into the likelihood of a child developing a drug addiction.