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How to find out if your child has been taking drugs

Finding out that your child is abusing drugs can be a complete and utter nightmare. With that said, if you suspect your child of using drugs, it is best to tackle the situation right away instead of waiting [the problem could only escalate into something much worse]. Here are a few steps you can take to find out about your child’s drug habits for sure.

mom watching teen boy

1Gather evidence

Before you do or say anything to you child, you should build your case by finding evidence. Confronting an innocent child can be very hurtful and will most likely cause unnecessary tension. Even if it takes some snooping, look for any signs of drug use. Some of the most noticeable signs are odd or secretive behavior, missing money, bodily marks, a drastic change in routine and, obviously, the possession of drugs.

2Have a meeting with your family

Once you have gathered enough evidence, meet with your child. If possible, try to have both parents present at the meeting, this is important because it shows you are both on the same page. Then, even if you are divorced, your child will not try to ‘get away’ with anything while at the other parent’s home. It is also important, during this step, to stay calm and not get outwardly upset. Explain why you suspect your child of of using drugs and wait for their reaction

3Hold your ground

The first instinct for almost any child on the planet is to deny, deny, deny! But instead of immediately consoling your crying child, you should continue with your evidence while staying calm and using an understanding yet firm tone. The fact you are not mad or yelling at your child will greatly improve your chances of getting a confession from them.

4Consider a drug test

If you don’t get a confession, a drug test could be in order. You can usually find drug tests at your local drugstore or online. Another option is to conduct a blood or hair follicle drug test at a clinic.

5Stay educated

Educate yourself about the latest street drugs, symptoms of drug use and warning signs. For everything you need about drug use and prevention, go to Partners for a Drug-free Canada. You can also find tips for discussing drugs with your child, so that whether or not your child is using drugs, you can keep the lines of communication open — talking with your child is one of the best prevention methods. Still, if you find out your child has a severe drug problem, you may need to consider an intervention and/or drug treatment program.

More drug addiction info

Recognize signs of drug addiction

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