Save Your Teen From Cough Medicine Addiction And Drug Abuse
As cough medicines become a popular narcotic among teens, many parents want to know how to determine if their teens are abusing it.
Experts believe that the signs of drug abuse are generally the same regardless of the drug in question.
If your teens are showing the signs below, consider the possibility of drug abuse.
Did the grades of your child drop significantly over the past months? Drug abuse can turn an A-grade student into a dropout. Oftentimes, addicts see their grades falling gradually. It is common for addicts to become less diligent in doing their assignments. They do not prepare much for tests, skip class or do not participate in class discussion anymore.
If your teen becomes less sociable and spends less time hanging with his or her friends, something must be wrong. Are you seeing new, uneasy faces? Drug addicts may abandon their close friends if they are not into drug abuse.
Do your teens suddenly grow furious without a good reason? Are they becoming oddly manic or depressed? Drug abuse can be the reason behind these behaviors. Moreover, drug addicts may spend much of their time in isolation.
Do you see dramatic changes in the physical appearance of your teen? Addicts become less tidy. They may forget to change clothes, miss regular bath or completely alter the way they groom themselves.
Do you notice significant changes in the eating habit of your teen? Is he or she eating more or less? Beware of noticeable changes in weight, be it a weight loss or gain.
Is your teen suffering from changes in sleeping patterns? Some drugs can cause people to sleep all day long, while others deprive people of sleep.
Keeping most things secret, like after-school activities and personal belongings, can be a sign of drug abuse.
Frequent Intake of Medicines
How often does your teen ask for cold medicine? It is understandable for weak teens to get sick frequently. However, if your teen is asking for cough medicines many times even if they look fine, there is a reason to be suspicious. This could be a sign of drug abuse.
Are there empty bottles of syrup or tablet packs in your trash can? Teens who are buying considerable amount of cough medicine without telling their parents could also be a sign of drug abuse.
Of course, these signs do not qualify all teens as drug users. Some of these signs can just be a normal part of adolescence, which is a period of dramatic changes. These tips are only intended to warn parents of the possibility of drug abuse so they can intervene early. When parents see any of these signs, they should start paying serious attention.
What to Do With Teens Abusing OTC Drugs
Talk to your teen once you see a major sign of OTC drug abuse. Many parents do not know how to get started. Here are some tips that would prepare you before talking about drug abuse with your teen.
Hold back impulsive reactions
Never break into your child’s room and frighten everyone by yelling. This approach is unlikely to yield fruitful result. This would prompt your teen to become defensive. It is better to seat down for a while and think of the things you need to ask your teen.
Look for evidence
This does not mean that you need to gather undeniable proofs in order to confront your teen about drug abuse. However, having a good evidence will make you confident when raising your suspicion. Empty bottles of cough medicines or tablets hidden in your teen’s cabinet are enough evidence. But mere observations suggesting OTC drug abuse are sufficient ground for confronting your teen. Weird behaviors, for instance, are good indicators of drug abuse.
Know more about drug abuse
Research about abuse of cough and cold medicines. Know the types of medications abused by teens and their harmful effects. Your teen should be convinced that you are knowledgeable on all these things.
Get yourself prepared for a talk
Confronting drug abuse is not all about passing judgment and punishment. Parents have to engage their teens into a conversation. This may require several attempts, but parents need to communicate their concerns about OTC drug abuse.
Define your policy
Before talking to your teen, let him or her know your household rules on drug abuse. Define these rules clearly. Emphasize what punishment awaits family members who would violate these rules.
Getting any sort of assistance will help build your confidence. Make sure that your spouse is with you in this battle. But getting help from other people could bring invaluable help. Look around. Help could come from friends, clergy member or a therapist. They can help you before or after talking to your teen.
Know the perfect time to confront your teen
This should be a serious talk, so do not attempt to begin the conversation abruptly, like minutes before a bus trip or while your child is playing a video game. The right time is when both of you have enough time to voice your sentiments. Never talk about drug abuse when your teen is stoned.
Do not assume that everything is settled once the conversation is over. It is common for parents to develop a false sense of security after such a talk. Your teen may promise to stop OTC drug abuse, but it is not that easy. Your teens may still have to struggle with the same issues and causes that led him or her to drug abuse. So even if the talk is over, the root problem is still there. You need to hold a regular talk with your teen as you check his condition. Expect to hold more talks as time goes by until your teen completely regains a healthy lifestyle free from drugs.