There are some clear signs to look out for that will indicate if your child is smoking or taking drugs, including the following:
- Chewing gum a lot, yellow-stained fingers and smoke-scented clothes.
- Mood swings, loss of appetite and a general desire to spend lots of time in their room.
- Obscure descriptions of where they are going, a certain shiftiness to their behaviour.
- Requesting or asking to borrow money from you or any other members of the family.
- No interest in out of school/college activities or spending time with family
- Showering or bathing throughout the day
- Friends who do drugs
Drug use is serious and should never be normalized or minimized.
The first step on the journey to recovery is recognizing that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to be objective when gauging your own drug use or that of someone you love. To know if you are addicted or in the beginning abusive stages of drug use, it’s important to understand the signs of addiction that are associated with specific drugs.
1. Marijuana tolerance and withdrawal: Just like any drug, regular use of marijuana leads to a tolerance for it. This means that you need more and more of the drug in order to achieve the same high. If you need more and more of the drug to get high you are building tolerance. If you begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms or tolerance you could be addicted to marijuana. Signs of withdrawal include loss of appetite, irritability, insomnia or anxiety.
2. Using more marijuana than intended: You may start out thinking, “I’m just going to take a couple hits.” But end up smoking the whole joint by the end of the night. If this happens regularly it’s a sign of addiction.
3. Unable to cut down or stop marijuana use: You may be trying to stop your drug use. But, you may find yourself unable to stop when you’re trying to quit. Being unable to stop your use means you probably need help in getting clean.
4. Lots of time spent getting high: How we spend our time says a lot about us. If the bulk of it is spent either getting high, waiting to get high, or looking for marijuana that is a serious red flag.
5. Reduced activities: If your schedule has slowly been depleted of all physical or recreational activities and replaced with hanging out and getting high, then you could be addicted to marijuana.
6. Continuing to get high despite the problems it causes: Your conduct at work is changed by addiction. For example, if you have been warned that you will be fired if you are late to work or show up high again yet you to continue to smoke marijuana before heading into work, then you are exhibiting behavior that is akin to self-sabotage. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that is a sign of addiction.
7. Using marijuana to escape from problems: If you feel like the only way you can handle bad grades, problems at work, and relationship issues is to get high, then you may be addicted to marijuana.
8. Depending on marijuana to be creative or to relax or enjoy yourself: If you need to get high before you feel comfortable being creative or before you can truly relax, then you may be addicted to marijuana. In fact, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, marijuana does not contribute to mellow demeanor. In their study, regular users were more likely to participate in violent actions.
9. Choosing relationships and activities based on whether or not you will be able to get high: If you decide which events to attend and whom to hang out with based on whether or not you can use marijuana and get high, then you are likely addicted to marijuana.
10. An inability to attend to daily responsibilities: If you have important responsibilities in you daily life but begin to consistently fail to see them through because your mind is on getting high, it might be a motivation problem or it could just as easily mean you have an psychological addiction to THC.
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