- Step 1: Note altered eating and sleeping patterns Note your child’s altered eating and sleeping habits, like poor appetite and insomnia. Sudden desires for sweets as well as weight loss indicate addictive swings typical of drug use.
- Step 2: Change in interests Take seriously any mysterious rejection of interests that were once important to your child, like sports and hobbies.
- TIP: At-home drug test kits are available online or at drugstores. Collect a sample of your child’s hair to determine if they are using.
- Step 3: Confront defiance Document defiance, including blatant school tardiness, neglected homework, and careless physical appearance or a pattern of broken home rules, violated curfews, and open disrespect that may indicate drug use.
- Step 4: Look for signs in the kid’s room Investigate the child’s room. Check for incense to cover the smell of smoke, lighters, or suspicious paraphernalia.
- Step 5: Note erratic behavior Note erratic behavior. Chronic mood swings and uncharacteristic secretive withdrawals are classic signs of drug behavior.
- TIP: Community hotlines and referral centers can provide advice and access to drug counselors and trained mentors.
- Step 6: Observe relationships Observe the child’s changing relationships, noting new friends who are seldom introduced, never come inside your home, or respond vaguely to questions about their activities.
- FACT: Did you know? Kids who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs.
You Will Need
- Knowledge and close obervation of your child's personality and habits
- A home drug testing kit (optional)