Signs kids may be using drugs or alcohol

Children grow by spreading their wings and learning to be more independent. As they dabble in new things, children learn through trial and error, and certain mistakes may be made along the way. One of those mistakes may be getting involved with drugs or alcohol.

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance among young people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Study found that 19 per cent of people between the ages of 12 and 20 reported drinking alcohol in a 30-day period. Other findings indicated that 29 per cent of high school students drank alcohol and 14 per cent engaged in binge drinking.

It is not so easy for parents to realize their children are experimenting with alcohol. However, the following are some signs that kids may be engaging in such behaviour.

Your child is exhibiting mood changes, such as flare-ups of temper, irritability and defensiveness. Your child appears impaired, including slurred speech, red eyes, staggered gait, and trouble with co-ordination. Your child is spending time with new friends and/or sneaking around. Your child exhibits altered appetite and sleep patterns, as well as changes in weight. Your child has frequent nosebleeds, which could be indicative of methamphetamine or cocaine use. You notice that bottles of alcohol in your home are missing or not at levels where you left them. You may notice missing prescription pills or over-the-counter cold medicines as well. Your child’s appearance may be deteriorating and there is a lack of interest in personal grooming. Your child has injuries or bruises of unknown origin. You find alcohol or drugs in your child’s possession.

According to the treatment centre Ashwood Recovery, someone who is abusing alcohol may have ashen or jaundiced skin as well as bloodshot eyes. Signs of methamphetamine usage include loss of teeth and the skin takes on a dull appearance. People abusing heroin appear lethargic, dazed and confused. They may be emaciated and have brittle hair and nails. It’s important to note that some young adults start using heroin to help them lose weight.

Parents can help their children by recognizing early on if they are abusing alcohol or illegal substances.

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