Data gathered by from the 2006 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that a whooping 112 million Americans age 12 years and older have substance abuse problems. Drug problem among teenagers is also considered a leading cause of death among individuals belonging to this age bracket.
As a responsible family member, it becomes your responsibility to keep your an eye on your teenagers and other family members - that is, without generally appearing a spy for them. This way, you are able to keep your home and family drug and alcohol free.
Knowing and identifying potential clues of substance abuse is considered a first step in helping you keep your loved ones drug free. This will also help you proactively deal with drug use and abuse.
Professionals in most drug rehabs believe that teenagers exhibit common signs of drug abuse and these can include a loss of interest in hobbies, change in friends, and drop in grades. However, these signs may not show up right away. In fact, it often takes a year or two before these changes become noticeable. In most cases, children using drugs can continue to appear healthy and carefree until a certain point at which drugs become problematic. These teenagers hardly talk of school-related problems or anything that could have bothered them, making it appear that they lead smooth-sailing lives and that nothing has been affected.
For this reason, counselors from effective California drug rehabs strongly suggest subtle monitoring of your children's activities. Be informed of your teenager's affairs, activities and friends. If it is possible, let your child invite friends to come over so you are able to meet them or you may want to visit your child's friends to get a better idea of the friends your child has. Ask yourself important questions and make sure to stay out of denial. Do they engage themselves in threatening activities such as binge drinking? Do you suspect that the group is into drugs or marijuana? If that is the case, encourage your child to find new friends who do not do drugs.
California rehabs also advise parents to hug their children on their arrival, especially after late night parties. This will allow parents to check for odors of possible alcohol or marijuana smoke that implies substance abuse. It can also be observed that some teenagers under the influence of drugs and alcohol prefer to go straight to their rooms when they arrive home. Doing so shields them from the observant eyes of parents and other family members. When this happens, call the attention of your child and talk to him/her for a while. Observe the color of the eyes, his/her speech and his/her sense of balance. Individuals under the influence of substances and chemicals usually have bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.
Relatives, neighbors and close friends can also discretely keep an eye over your child, his/her friends, and the activities they are engaged in. This is especially helpful for parents who are not home most of the time and whose children are given a lot of opportunities to be by themselves within their own homes. Monitor your teenager's performance in school. Has there been a drop in grades? Are there changes in his/her behavior? If you notice any of these changes, do not hesitate to talk to your child's teacher once in a while.
Keep your teenager away from drugs and alcohol to ensure a bright future ahead of him/her. Too often, drug addiction and alcohol abuse among teenagers results from lack of attention and love from parents.