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Warning Signs for Parents

Dramatic Changes in Style of Clothes, Hair or Music
These outwards signs of rebellion should be obvious to a parent. Has your son started listening to radically different music such as heavy metal or punk rock? Is your son coloring his hair some weird color just to fin in? Is your son dressing down to fit in with friends at school? All of these are outward signs that your son is succumbing to negative peer pressure. 



Tardiness and/or Truancy
You need to stay in touch with your son's school. Never assume that his school with be in touch with you if there is a problem. If your son is getting into drugs, odds are he will start ditching classes from time to time. Kids who do this tend to take off during the middle of school and get stoned somewhere near the campus. Don't assume that his school will let you know about this kind of behavior. And you need to realize kids are great at covering up this kind of behavior. Every kid knows how to forge their parent's signature - no joke. Call your son's school from time to time and ask about your child's attendance record. You need to take the initiative here!



Changes in Attitude and Personality
Does it seem like your son is suddenly a completely different person with a new personality which you don't like one bit? Has your son suddenly developed a tough guy attitude? If your son is experimenting with at-risk behaviors, there's a good chance you'll be seeing these kinds of attitude changes. Often parents just see this as normal teenage behavior and write it off. Don't make this mistake, otherwise you might overlook one of the most obvious signs. 



Eating Way Too Much or Way Too Little
Here's another obvious sign of drug experimentation that is often overlooked as normal teenage behavior. Does your son come home in the afternoon after hanging out with friends and devour everything in the refrigerator? If your son is smoking pot with his friends, it wouldn't be unusual for your son to eat a bit more food than normal. Does your son skip quite a few consecutive meals? "Speed" use is a possibility. 



Dilated, Red or Glazed Eyes
Do your son's eyes look funny? Are the pupils really large or really small? Does your son wear sunglasses even at night and try to say he is just trying to look cool? A person's eyes show the effects of the drugs that they are on. If you think your son is experimenting with drugs, watch his eyes. Are they red all the time? Glazed? There's a good chance your son is using drugs. 



Lies! Lies! And More Lies!
If your son is experimenting with drugs, he will be telling lots of lies to cover this up. Teens tend to be very good at covering things up. If you start wondering whether or not your son is telling you the truth, there is a good chance that your instincts are right. Be persistent and learn what it is they are trying to cover up. 



Excessive Money Spending or Money Disappearing
If your son keeps coming to you needing money or if money keeps coming up missing from your purse or wallet, you need to have a serious talk with your child. Especially if they always seem to need $20 or $50, round amounts, since that is often the price drugs cost. 

Changes in Sleep Patterns
These kinds of changes should be fairly obvious. Does your son stay up late (or even all night) frequently, refusing to get up in the morning at a decent time? Does your son sleep way too much or way too little? If your son isn't sleeping much, there's a good chance he is using. This is a frequent effect of this kind of stimulant. 



Hanging Out With a Bad or Different Crowd Than He Used To 
Your child might try and tell you that his friends are cool kids. But you need to take a close look at the kinds of kids your son is hanging out with. Chances are the way these friends behave is the way your son behaves when you're not around. Do some of your son's friends smoke cigarettes or pot? If so, odds are your child is smoking too. Your son's friends are like a mirror for your son - he looks at himself in that mirror and tries to conform to what he sees there. One of the best ways to get a good idea of what your son is like is to look at his closest friends. 




Isolating from Family
Does your son act distant? Does he constantly want to be with his friends away from home? when you ask him what he has been up to, does your son give some vague reply? Does your son want to eat in his room all the time instead of with the family? Children are smart - they know that the easiest lie to tell is the one they can avoid having to tell. If your son doesn't tell you what he has been up to, there's a good chance your son is hiding something. 



Excessive Use of Foul Language
Has your son suddenly developed a filthy mouth? This might indicate that your son is giving into peer pressure from his friends and should be a warning sign to you. If your son is trying to fit in with his friends by cussing, sooner or later your son will probably look for other ways to gain acceptance in his peer group. One of these ways is often drugs. 




Paranoia - "Everyone is Out to Get Me"
Does your son treat everybody as if they were the enemy? Does he tend to express the idea that everybody is out to get him? Does he seem overly paranoid to you? This is not normal teenage behavior; you need to understand that. This is one of the most common signs of drug abuse. It's one of those signs you don't have to look hard to see. 



Dramatic Mood Swings
Does your son seem really happy one day, then terribly depressed the next day? Do your son's emotions go up and down constantly? This is often confused with "normal" teenage behavior, but it can also be an obvious sign of drug abuse. Don't simply write it off. 



Sudden Bursts of Anger
Has your son developed a violent side? Is he prone to sudden, uncontrollable fits of anger? This doesn't have to mean physically violent (though that is often the case) but can also be a teen who is always yelling or threatening people. Any of these things should be a warning sign to you that your son could be experimenting with alcohol or drugs. 


Dramatic Changes in Style of Clothes,
Hair or Music
These outwards signs of rebellion should be
obvious to a parent. Has your son started
listening to radically different music such as
heavy metal or punk rock? Is your son
coloring his hair some weird color just to fit
in? Is your son dressing down to fit in with
friends at school? All of these are outward 
signs that your son is succumbing to
negative peer pressure. 



Tardiness and/or Truancy
You need to stay in touch with your son's
school. Never assume that his school with
be in touch with you if there is a problem.
If your son is getting into drugs, odds are
he will start ditching classes from time to
time. Kids who do this tend to take off
during the middle of school and get stoned
somewhere near the campus. Don't assume
that his school will let you know about this
kind of behavior. And you need to realize
kids are great at covering up this kind of
behavior. Every kid knows how to forge
their parent's signature - no joke. Call your
son's school from time to time and ask about
your son's attendance record.
You need to take the initiative here!



Changes in Attitude and Personality
Does it seem like your son is suddenly
a completely different person with a
new personality which you don't like
one bit? Has your son suddenly developed
a tough guy attitude? If your son is
experimenting with at-risk behaviors,
there's a good chance you'll be seeing
these kinds of attitude changes. Often
parents just see this as normal teenage
behavior and write it off. Don't make this
mistake, otherwise you might overlook
one of the most obvious signs. 



Eating Way Too Much or Way Too Little
Here's another obvious sign of drug
experimentation that is often overlooked
as normal teenage behavior. Does your
son come home in the afternoon after
hanging out with friends and devour
everything in the refrigerator? If your son
is smoking pot with his friends, it wouldn't
be unusual for your son to eat a bit more
food than normal. Does your son skip
quite a few consecutive meals?
"Speed" use is a possibility. 



Dilated, Red or Glazed Eyes
Do your son's eyes look funny? Are the pupils
really large or really small? Does your son
wear sunglasses even at night and try to say
he is just trying to look cool? A person's eyes
show the effects of the drugs that they are on.
If you think your son is experimenting with
drugs, watch his eyes. Are they red all the time?
Glazed? There's a good chance your son is
using drugs. 



Lies! Lies! And More Lies!
If your son is experimenting with drugs, he
will be telling lots of lies to cover this up.
Teens tend to be very good at covering
things up. If you start wondering whether
or not your son is telling you the truth,
there is a good chance that your instincts
are right. Be persistent and learn what it is
they are trying to cover up. 



Excessive Money Spending or
Money Disappearing
If your son keeps coming to you needing
money or if money keeps coming up
missing from your purse or wallet, you
need to have a serious talk with your son.
Especially if they always seem to need $20
or $50, round amounts, since that is often
the price drugs cost. 



Changes in Sleep Patterns
These kinds of changes should be fairly
obvious. Does your son stay up late
(or even all night) frequently, refusing to
get up in the morning at a decent time?
Does your son sleep way too much or way
too little? If your son isn't sleeping much,
there's a good chance he is using. This is
a frequent effect of this kind of stimulant. 




Hanging Out With a Bad or
Different Crowd Than He Used To 

Your child might try and tell you that his
friends are cool kids. But you need to take
a close look at the kinds of kids your son
is hanging out with. Chances are the way
these friends behave is the way your son
behaves when you're not around. Do some
of your son's friends smoke cigarettes or
pot? If so, odds are your child is smoking
too. Your son's friends are like a mirror for
your son - he looks at himself in that mirror
and tries to conform to what he sees there.
One of the best ways to get a good idea of
what your son is like is to look at his
closest friends. 



Isolating from Family
Does your son act distant? Does he constantly
want to be with his friends away from home?
When you ask him what he has been up to,
does your son give some vague reply? Does
your son want to eat in his room all the time
instead of with the family? Children are smart
- they know that the easiest lie to tell is the
one they can avoid having to tell. If your son
doesn't tell you what he has been up to, there's
a good chance your son is hiding something. 



Excessive Use of Foul Language
Has your son suddenly developed a filthy
mouth? This might indicate that your son
is giving into peer pressure from his friends
and should be a warning sign to you. If your
son is trying to fit in with his friends by
cussing, sooner or later your son will probably
look for other ways to gain acceptance in his
peer group. One of these ways is often drugs. 



Paranoia - "Everyone is Out to Get Me"
Does your son treat everybody as if they
were the enemy? Does he tend to express
the idea that everybody is out to get him?
Does he seem overly paranoid to you?
This is not normal teenage behavior; you
need to understand that. This is one of the
most common signs of drug abuse. It's
one of those signs you don't have to
look hard to see. 



Dramatic Mood Swings
Does your son seem really happy one day,
then terribly depressed the next day? Do
your son's emotions go up and down
constantly? This is often confused with
"normal" teenage behavior, but it can also
be an obvious sign of drug abuse.
Don't simply write it off. 




Sudden Bursts of Anger
Has your son developed a violent side?
Is he prone to sudden, uncontrollable fits
of anger? This doesn't have to mean
physically violent (though that is often
the case) but can also be a teen who is
always yelling or threatening people.
Any of these things should be a warning
sign to you that your son could be
experimenting with alcohol or drugs.