For many families, drug abuse is impacting their young adult children on a number of troubling levels. Studies show that males are more likely than females to use illicit drugs (such as opioids, meth, cocaine, etc.), so if you are a parent of a young adult son, you might be concerned that they will go down the wrong path.
According to the Monitoring the Future Survey conducted by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), rates of illicit drug use by today’s youth have declined from 2020 to 2021.
While that is certainly welcomed the news, it does not mean that drug abuse is something of the past. You might even suspect that they have already ventured down this path, but just aren’t sure. You are likely asking yourself, “how can I tell if my son is using drugs?” on a regular basis. Thankfully, there are several signs and symptoms to watch for so that your question can be answered.
How Can I Tell If My Son is Using Drugs?
If you are wondering, “how can I tell if my son is using drugs?”, know that you are not alone. Millions of parents have similar thoughts and concerns, especially considering drug use is something that frequently occurs in kids of this age range. If you are worried about your son and if he is using drugs or not, there are many things that you can look for.
Extreme Mood Swings
Everyone knows that teenagers can have some pretty big mood swings. All of this is normal due to hormones and related stressors. But, if your son is using drugs, these mood swings will be more intense, occur more frequently, and sometimes seem to appear out of the blue.
Beginning to Hang Out with the ‘Wrong Crowd”
One of the tell-tale signs that young adults are using drugs is because they start hanging out with the “wrong crowd”. Your son may have started developing relationships with other kids who get in trouble often, use drugs, or struggle at school. They may even abandon the friends they used to have in an effort to spend more time with these kids instead. You may notice him adopting behaviors that are reflective of the company he keeps, including drug use.
Of course, many young adults are going to hole themselves up in their rooms from time to time. But if you notice that your son is isolating himself regularly, there may be something more going on. Young adults who abuse drugs often isolate themselves from others in an effort to continue using or to hide their use. They may even come home from being out and immediately go to their rooms because they do not want their parents to see them under the influence
If you are still asking yourself, “how can I tell if my son is using drugs?”, then one thing to look at is your son’s physical appearance. Drugs often cause a decline in personal hygiene and weight loss. Additionally, problems sleeping can create bags under the eyes and an overall pasty appearance. Keep an eye out for burns on the fingers or hands, signs of self-harm such as cuts and wounds, and what your son is wearing. It is a common practice for those using drugs intravenously to wear long-sleeve shirts (even in hot weather) to cover up their track marks.
The most important thing you can do in order to tell if your son is using drugs or not is to be as informed as possible about what to look for. But considering these signs, you are already on your way.
Why Do Young Adults Use Drugs?
Young adults are undoubtedly more likely to experiment with drugs than other groups of individuals, especially considering it is something they have never done before. The curiosity of it certainly serves as one of the most common reasons why kids use drugs, but there is much more to it than just that.
Young adults use drugs for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Peer pressure – Young adults are no stranger to peer pressure, as everyone experiences it during their formative years. Many young adults find themselves experimenting with drugs because someone in school offered it to them and they don’t want to see uncool or they are being teased into using.
- Academic stress – Many young adults struggle with academics, whether they are striving for perfect grades or having difficulty with their schoolwork. The stress that can come from tests, pop quizzes, homework assignments, and more can be overwhelming for a teenager who is not equipped with the right skills to manage this stress, potentially leading to drug use as a means of relaxation.
- Problems at home – Whether one’s parents are getting a divorce, a sibling has an untreated mental health disorder, or there is chaos in the home because of financial reasons, problems at home can be a trigger to use drugs for teens.
These are just some of the reasons why young adults may become more inclined to use drugs, however they are not the only reasons. Therefore, it is critical to be able to determine if your adult child is using drugs or not so that you can be prepared to help.
Sober Living in Georgia
At Creekside, we understand how difficult it can be for anyone to have an addiction, never mind younger individuals. We also understand that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that with our help, your son can get there. Our sober living for men can help young men reclaim and renew themselves to create better futures.
If you’ve asked yourself, “can I tell if my son is using drugs,” contact us right now. Our team of professionals will work closely with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan designed to help your son recover as best as possible.