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The sad reality is, there are many young people exposed to drugs at an early age. It is battle to pursue the safety of your child. No parent wants to think that their child might be using drugs or alcohol. As scary as reading this article might feel, it is far scarier to stick your head in the sand and act like nothing is happening. You’re a brave parent to look for clues that your child might be using drugs.

They are Jittery in the Mornings

Behavioral changes are quite common with kids who take drugs. While the moody teen is a stereotype, it’s one that holds true. If your kid is jittery in the morning and calmer in the evening, he or she could be taking drugs. [i]

They Experience Physical Changes

Drug use takes a physical toll on the body, and some of the physical signs of drug abuse include:

  • Bloodshot eyes.

  • Widely dilated pupils.

  • Sudden weight loss (or weight gain).

  • Poor hygiene.

  • Frequent nosebleeds.

  • Shakes or tremors.

  • Red, flushed cheeks.

  • Bruises or other unexplained injuries.

  • Drowsiness or fatigue. [ii]

They Hide Things

Kids come up with some crafty places to conceal alcohol, drugs, and drug paraphernalia. Some possible hiding spots include:

  • Dresser drawers beneath or between clothes

  • Desk drawers

  • CD/DVD/Tape/Video cases

  • Small boxes – jewelry, pencil, etc.

  • Backpacks/duffel bags

  • Under a bed

  • In a plant, buried in the dirt

  • In between books on a bookshelf or Inside books with pages cut out

  • Makeup cases – inside fake lipstick tubes or compacts

  • Under a loose plank in floor boards

  • Inside over-the-counter medicine containers (Tylenol, Advil, etc.)

  • Inside empty candy bags such as M&Ms or Skittles [iii]

They Protect Their Personal Space

Like personality shifts, this can certainly just be part of growing up. However, if your teen has turned overprotective, it’s a good idea to pay closer attention to their actions. It doesn’t always present in a negative manner either—perhaps your teen is suddenly quick to do their own laundry or tidy up their room when they know you’d otherwise do it. [iv]


[i] Drug Abuse Editorial Team, Drug Abuse, accessed 25 March 2019, <>

[ii] The Recovery Village Editorial Team, The Recovery VIllage, accessed 25 March 2019, <>

[iii] Drug Free Editorial Team, Drug Free, accessed 25 Mach 2019, <>

[iv] Trevor McDonald, Smart Recovery, accessed 25 Mach 2019, <>


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