If you suspect that your teen may be abusing drugs such as heroin or prescription painkillers, the best thing you can do is become fully aware and informed of the signs and symptoms so that you can take immediate action to help your child get the treatment that he or she needs. If your teen is abusing opiates, early detection is key to getting them help before the opiate addiction takes over their lives, ruining everything in its path.
Look out for these signs that your teen might be abusing opiates:
Changes in Friends
Have you noticed that your teen is spending time with a new group of people or that he or she has changed her friendships? Many teens who abuse drugs will make abrupt changes in their friendships to spend time with new “friends” that also abuse drugs.
Have you noticed that your teen is isolating himself from family or from old friends? Social isolation is common in drug abuse and in depression. If your teen is isolating himself and you can’t figure out why, opiate abuse could be a potential cause of the isolation.
Wearing Long Sleeves
If intravenous drug use is taking place, your teen may wear long sleeves to cover up any needle marks or bruising on the arms which can occur as a result of the drug use. Pay close attention to the clothing that your teen is wearing and don’t be afraid to ask him to lift his sleeves.
Changes in Sleep Patterns
Opiate abuse will often lead to excessive sleeping or other adverse changes in sleep patterns. If you notice that your teen is sleeping excessively and seems to be falling asleep in weird places he or she may be abusing opiates.
Parents should pay close attention to where their teens are spending money. Don’t be afraid to ask your teen where his money was spent and even to request receipts. Teens often spend money on drugs without parents knowing it is even missing simply because they don’t ask.
Dropping Grades or Missing School
Opiate abuse will gradually cause teens to focus more on drugs and less on school. If you notice that your teen is slacking off, missing school and bringing home failing grades, opiate abuse could be a problem.