Synthetic drugs, often dubbed, “Spice,” or “K2,” even “Potpourri,” is a type of synthetic drug where teens and young adults may abuse to get the feeling of being “high.” The newest synthetic drug, bath salts, has made authorities and researchers even more aware of designer drugs. The question is, if a teen is using these substances, how can you recognize it?
10 signs that may help parents recognize if a child or teen is using drugs, synthetic or otherwise.
- Personal habits – Changes in behavior is common for teens, but excessive changes such as sullenness, withdrawing from society, or reacting aggressively towards people your teen previously cared for may signify substance abuse. Personal habits or hobbies that were once enjoyable your teen may now seem to reject. Talk to you teen to see if the change in behavior is a result of growing up or if there is underlying drug abuse issues.
- Change in school behavior – A sudden drop in grades, missing or skipping class, turning in inaccurate homework is an indicator that something in your teen’s life is not right. Consult with teachers before talking with your teen.
- Change in home behavior – Anger, lashing out at siblings or other family members is sometimes a part of a teens life as they are learning to juggle different hormones with changing bodies. However, constant negative behavior or a complete withdrawal from family may be an indicator of something wrong.
- Personal appearance – A lack of hygiene, not showering, or changing clothes for instance may show that a teen might be using synthetic drugs.
- Car behavior – If you notice that your teen is using your vehicle as a way to stash or use drugs, it is vital to talk to a professional immediately. Other signs may include missing pills, appearance of wrappers or other paraphernalia used to separate drugs, and a skunk-like odor in your car. (Teens may do the opposite and cover up the smell by using an excessive of air fresheners.)
- Curfew – Consistently missing curfew, coming in way past the time set may indicate a serious change in your teens life.
- Communication – Not all teens are the best communicators, but if you begin to notice a change, such as evasiveness, skirting around direct questions, or volatile behavior when you mention certain issues, look into the reasoning behind the behavior. Your teen may be trying to cover up behavior he or she is embarrassed about.
- Changes in friends – Communicate regularly with your teen’s friends. If you notice that your teen suddenly begins to hang out with a new group, get to know them and find out why your child is hanging out with a different crowd.
- Excessive use of hygiene materials – Eye drop bottles, mouth wash, breath mints, taking repeated showers may indicate that your teen is trying to cover up the effects synthetic drugs (bloodshot eyes, smoke on clothing and breath).
- Paraphernalia – Missing cigarettes, the presence of rolling papers, pipes, aluminum foil, or missing containers all could indicate that your teen is using household items to transport or use synthetic drugs.
It’s important to regularly communicate with your child. Even the best parent can’t prevent a teen from being exposed to drugs, but it is important to tell your child why and how synthetic drugs can do permanent damage to a body.
Author: Shane Burke
Bio: Shane is a frequent blogger and advocate of treatment for addiction and mental health. He is currently promoting Bow Creek & Bella Vista Recovery Centers a private drug treatment center.