Is your child using drugs?

The effects of drugs and alcohol on the developing brain can be detrimental. Drug use can have irreversible effects on a child’s development, both physically and mentally. Substance abuse may also impact your child’s social development and academic performance.

There are a number of signals that may indicate your child is using drugs or abusing alcohol. For example, they might stop caring about how he or she looks, changes in personal habits like always locking a bedroom door or going out every night, money and/or valuables may start to disappear from home, their eating or sleeping patterns are suspicious, eyes are red-rimmed or their nose is runny in the absence of a cold, among others.

If any of these indicators seem all too familiar, you should take the time to discuss the problem openly with your child. Knowing that they can talk to you without fear of being turned away is an important first step on the road to recovery. It shows that your child's well-being is crucial to you and that you still love them, although you hate what they may be doing to themselves.

However, you should also show your love to them by being firm and enforcing whatever discipline your family has agreed upon for violating house rules. You should go over ways to regain the family's trust such as calling in, spending evenings at home, and improving grades.
Remember that you don't have to deal with this alone. Get external support and help if you need it. One source of assistance might be your family doctor or your child's pediatrician.

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

Prepared by

LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez

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