Five Telltale Signs That Your Kid May Be Having Addiction Problems
Addiction can happen at any time to anybody. Youths and teenagers go through a lot of emotional upheavals and they are easily influenced and gullible to unhealthy choices. Also, it is that time of our lives when we love to emulate people whom we think are cool, especially our peers. All these factors add up, and make a teenager’s life a very vulnerable one. Sadly enough, they fall prey to addiction, and their fear of getting reprimanded may be the reason why they choose not to seek help when things get worse for them. It is, therefore, crucial for parents to always maintain a friendly behavior with their teenage child. That way, if they are having an addiction-related problem, they would know whom to ask for help, but it is easier said than done. Most parents can’t stop themselves from scolding their wards when they are not behaving in the right manner. Then, how will parents understand if their child needs help? Look out for these signs first!
Has your child missed a lot of classes lately? Did you know about any of them, or did you get to know from the school? If this was not how they behaved earlier, then take this as a warning sign. Talk to the school authorities, and tell them about your concern. Maybe they can help you by reassuring that your child is still doing quite well in class and appears to be fit and fine. Many kids who are addicted often get into trouble at school or outside. They might be in a fight or have disrespected someone — the urge to break a law is very strong in them, probably. If not, then look further into this and try to find out the reason.
Make sure that your teenage kid looks clean and tidy. If you notice any marked difference in their appearance, keep an eye on them. Find out if it is just a one-off incident or if it is happening regularly. Have they suddenly appeared unkempt and disheveled? Have they stopped bothering with personal hygiene or fashion choices? Ask yourself these questions. You will know something is not right when you do.
Bad Performance At School
A sudden negative change in school performance is another sign that something is up with your kid. This is true for kids who have also initially struggled with school work as well. Addicted kids wouldn’t do their homework, be responsive in class, or respect their teachers. Try to compare notes from before and find out if something is amiss. Addiction might also stop a teenager from pursuing their hobbies and activities unlike before. Loss of interest in most things is a sign related closely with addiction.
Changes in your child’s sleeping or eating habit can be another giveaway. Check if they are eating properly and sleeping on time. Chances are that addicted kids would hardly have any appetite and would sleep during odd hours or not at all. If something like that is happening in your household, it is time to confront your child and check if your worst fears have come true.
Once addicted, teenagers might not feel the need to interact with people outside their circle of addicts. Which means, they would hardly want to interact with family members or other friends from school or outside. If your child has isolated themselves in their room for long hours and refuses to interact with people they usually hung out with, it is time for an adult to intervene. You may even find out that they aren’t hanging out with their usual circle of friends, spending time, instead, with a new group of friends. If there is a noticeable change in the peer group, that might be a sign!
Once you are sure that your child is addicted and in trouble, take them to see a doctor for consultation. After a screening test, they mayt be advised to see an addiction specialist. Based on the kind of addiction your child has and how far they are in, the specialist might suggest a few treatment centers near your place. As for payment, if your child has health insurance, then some costs will be covered under substance abuse treatment. Don’t let things get out of hand, and do what is best for your child.
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