"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"
How do I know if they are using?

How can I tell if my child is using drugs

If you suspect that your young person is using drugs, it is usually because you have noticed changes in their behaviour.   If you are worried or suspect that alcohol or drug use may be the cause of this behaviour, it is best NOT to jump to conclusions or over-react, but rather take a step back and think carefully about what could be going on. 

Some signs or symptoms of drug use can be;

  • Finding drug paraphernalia
  • Chemical or alcohol smells on their breath or clothing, or heavy use of deodorants etc to cover up smells
  • mood swings
  • changes in appearance
  • poor school performance
  • loss of interest in activities
  • changes to their circle of friends
  • Staying out later at night

However changes in behaviours may not be alcohol or drug use at al. They could mean something else is wrong, or they may simply be normal aspects of teenage behaviour. 

However, if you have real concerns, the best thing you can do is to discuss these concerns with your child.  Being involved in your teenager’s life is the best way to find out how they are thinking and feeling and what is happing in their life.  It is important that you are ‘tuned –in’ to  opportunities that arise when conversations about drugs and alcohol can happen naturally , such as coming across a TV programme or magazine article about drug and alcohol misuse, for example. 

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