How To... Know If Your Kid Is On Drugs
It's a nightmare to find out that your child is taking drugs. That said, if you suspect drug use, you should definitely tackle the situation right away. Ignoring drug use can make the situation much worse and could make it much more difficult for your child to turn around their life. Here are a few steps you can take to find out whether or not your child has been taking drugs.
Step 1: Gather evidence
Before you do anything else, you should build your case. Confronting an innocent child can be a very hurtful event. So, even if it takes some snooping, look for any signs of drug use. These signs can include odd or secretive behavior, missing money, bodily marks, a drastic change in routine and, obviously, the possession of drugs.
Step 2: Call a family meeting
Once you have gathered your evidence, meet with your child. If possible, have both parents at the meeting. Without getting too outwardly upset, explain why you suspect drug use and wait for your child to react.
Step 3: Stay strong
The first instinct for just about any child on the planet will be to deny -- and most likely with a lot of emotion! But instead of immediately consoling your crying child, you should insist that you are confident in your evidence. And without becoming angry, continue to use an understanding yet firm tone. This will greatly improve your chances of getting a confession from your child.
Step 4: Consider a drug test
If you don't get a confession, a drug test could be in order. At your local pharmacy, you can find over-the-counter drug tests. Another option is to conduct a blood or hair follicle drug test at a clinic.
Step 5: Educate yourself
Educate yourself about the latest street drugs, symptoms of drug use and warning signs. Get tips from the Department of Education about keeping your children off drugs. Whether or not your child is using drugs, be sure to keep the lines of communication open. Explaining why drugs should be avoided and showing you care can go a long ways. If you find out that your child has a severe drug problem, consider an intervention and/or drug treatment program.
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