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Teen Issues Topics..

You are here : home > Teen Issues > Teen Problems > Is Your Child on Drugs?

Is Your Child on Drugs?

Do you suspect your son is on drugs? Learn how to tackle this growing social menace.

Aarti from Bangalore is worried about her son R. She has noticed that he is no longer a calm, attentive boy of 17 but seems disoriented and dazed most of the time. Lately, he has been coming home with red eyes, and yet there is no smell of alcohol. "Is my son using drugs?" she wonders.

Changing Times

Aarti is not the only one. In the past few decades, lifestyles have undergone a significant change. Increased pocket money and availability of lucrative call-centre jobs have ensured a steady supply of money to today's youngsters. Drugs are easily available at prices that middle-class people can afford. Moreover, the pressure to stay 'in', the desire to experience something different, and stress have led to a dramatic increase in drug abuse throughout India.

How Can I Identify a Drug Abuser?

Here are some visible signs that may indicate drug abuse. Remember, these signs are of a general nature, and could indicate other reasons such as a medical condition or a personality trait. At the same time, absence of these indicators does not eliminate the possibility of drug abuse, as many drug abusers are adept at masking visible signs and symptoms.

Physical and Behavioural Indicators:

  • Red eyes
  • Needle marks or abscesses on body, especially forearms
  • Increased or decreased appetite, eating binges, and a sudden intense craving for sweets
  • Dazed expression, confusion, inability to understand instructions, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration
  • Secretiveness and sneaky behaviour such as spending long periods in the bathroom or rushing to go outside
  • Possessiveness about contents of bag, clothes, or room
  • Violent and sudden changes in mood, depression, paranoia, or apathy
  • Disturbed sleep or change in sleep patterns
  • Personal neglect, shabby appearance, dishevelled hair, uncut nails, poor hygiene
  • Lavish expenditure, sudden disappearance of money or jewellery from the house
  • Use of certain lingo or secret code with friends or people on the phone
  • Reduced performance at school, college, or work

Drug Accessories:

A drug abuser uses several tools to help him consume the drug including:

  • Cigarette rolling paper (common brands include Rizla)
  • Cigarettes with the tobacco emptied out, partially or completely
  • Injections, vials, stained coins, candle, scorched tinfoil
  • Chillum (stone pipe) or bong (water pipe)
  • Eye drops (to reduce redness)
  • Cough syrups containing codeine
  • Doctor's prescription notes (for forgery)
  • Drugs that require a doctor's prescription (when there is no health condition)
  • Household chemicals such as nail polish cleaner


They say you can know a man by the company he keeps. Observe your child's friends. Has he recently changed his circle of friends? Do they also display the same or similar set of behaviours exhibited by your son?

Lifestyle Changes

The following are often, but not necessarily, associated with a lifestyle of drugs, especially LSD and cocaine:

  • Certain clothes (torn jeans, wearing all black, t-shirts with marijuana imprints) and music preferences (trance and rock)
  • Sudden interest in long hair, dreadlocks, body piercing, and tattoos

My Child is Using Drugs! What Do I Do Now?

Once you are sure that your son has been using drugs, your timely intervention may save his life.

  • Talk to your child: Choose a time when your son is sober. Confront your child about his drug habit without shouting, threatening, or blaming. Avoid sarcasm or name-calling.

  • Listen: Find out if your child faces problems in his studies or job. Why does he use drugs? Ask him if he requires assistance in any area.

  • Impose discipline: Harsh as it may sound, certain disciplinary measures are required to prevent the habit from worsening. Do you give your children unlimited pocket money? May be it is time to cut down or ask him for a detailed account on where he spends it. Set clear deadlines for coming home late. Do not give him access to the family car (driving after consuming drugs can be fatal). Keep his driving license with you until he has quit the habit completely.

  • Consult experts: Only an expert can assess the level of drug abuse and suggest remedial measures. Speak to doctors and medical professionals with experience in drug counselling and rehabilitation.

  • Be firm: Be firm that your child needs to quit drugs completely. Explain why drugs are bad for him and his career. Remind your child that you love him, and are concerned about him. Your child may refuse to seek help or postpone his visits to a counsellor. Be firm without being harsh and do not negotiate with him. Be prepared for excuses such as 'I have quit, so why do I need counselling?' or 'I'll never do it again'. Remember, it may be his addiction speaking.

  • Follow up: On a regular basis, check to see if he is not slipping back into his habits. Speak with the counsellor or rehabilitation centre, about your son's progress. If necessary, speak to your doctor about surprise periodic medical tests that can check if your son is still using drugs. You may be uncomfortable about infringing on your son's privacy, but conduct secret checks of his room and clothes, when he is not at home.

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Dwisha.2 years ago
Inviting All Parents in the Movement!!
Join Us to Save the Younger Generation from the menace of Drugs.
Amanda.6 years ago
A good way to do find out if your kid is under drug abuse is to keep communication open with your children. Talk to them about not only drugs, but peer pressure, their problems, friends, etc. If you have any suspicions that your loved one is involved with drugs, set then limits and boundaries with them. You need to be firm that their drug use needs to stop.
Grendel.6 years ago
Physical evidence is an obvious way to tell that your child may be involved in drug activity. Finding the drugs on your child, in his or her room, in their car suggest a drug problem.
Senora 234.6 years ago
if you want to be successful in warning your child about the dangers of drugs and alcohol then start early. The best way to do this is to talk to them about drugs at an early age. It has suggested that parents start as early as nine or ten to help them from using drugs in the future. This early start can give your child a fighting chance against peer pressure once he or she enters the junior high school.
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
Do you suspect that your child is using drugs? What have you done about it? What according to you is a good solution for treating drug abuse?
You need to check his belongings for any strange powders etc. when he' s not there. But it' s easier said than done. Fool your son into going for a blood test and say it' s for something else. Inform ...
Thanks everyone for your wonderful advice. My son is doing well in his career. So I don' t see any need for drugs right now. I think he should have told me openly. I would love to help him overcome it...
I wud like to know which drugs r medicinal. And even if they are, the potential harm outweighs the good. any drug should be taken under strict medical supervision. You just can' t self-administer drug...
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