For more posts by Lori Wildenberg go to https://loriwildenberg.com/
Top 20 Warning Signs of Drug Use
Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn’t seem like he’d be a heroin user. I mean, when I think of a heroin addict I picture a thin, grungy person hanging out in a dark alley making secret deals.
Not true today.
Teenagers who use heroin and other drugs may look like a typical kid: hip, smart, and stylish. They may act like a typical teen: maybe a video gamer or music lover.
When Hoffman was twenty-two, he went to rehab. He was sober for twenty-three years. In May of 2013 he went back to drug rehab for a ten day detox program. On Sunday, February 2, 2014, at age 46, he died of an apparent heroin overdose. (Click here for more information)
Why heroin? According to one of the parents in a “prodigal” course I’m teaching, “It’s cheap.”
Research supports this parent’s observation. Research also shows not only is it affordable but it is easy to use. Heroin comes in various forms that make consumption easy. It can be snorted, smoked, or injected. “Between 1995 and 2002, the number of teenagers in America, aged 12 to 17, who used heroin at some point in their lives increased by 300%.” (http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/heroin/a-very-slippery-slope.html)
“Recent surveys of teens and college age young adults reveal that this age group doesn’t believe that occasional use of heroin is dangerous. That should be a large red flag to parents of teens and soon to be or enrolled college students.” (http://www.kvue.com/news/health/kids-doctor/243710051.html)
So what is a parent to do?
Pray God discloses any substance abuse. Pray he gives you eyes to see.
Watch for behavioral changes like:
Lying, lack of eye contact, changes in sleep patterns, slurred or garbled speech (be careful here…teen boys are the professional mumblers!), a change in job or school performance, poor hygiene, apathy, and withdrawal from family and friends, or angry outbursts.
Then ask yourself these 20 questions that may indicate some type of drug use.
Does your tween or teen…
- seem to take his/her backpack everywhere?
- act highly protective about his backpack (or a girl with a large purse)?
- deflect questions about the backpack by getting angry then accusing you of not trusting him?
- carry a Sharpie in his backpack (used for graffiti and tagging, part of the drug culture)?
- keep (or accumulate) plastic water bottles and duct tape (or are you missing duct tape?) in his backpack? (This is used to make a homemade bong.)
- keep thin papers (like Bible pages) in a wallet or purse?
- burn holes in clothes or backpacks?
- save broken pens or take pens apart?
- have ink stains from pens being pulled apart?
- keep baggies?
- wear strong cologne?
- have smelly hair?
- have yellow finger tips?
- carry Vitamin C juice or emergency packets (provides a second high if on psychedelic drugs)?
- have powder on the edges of credit cards or IDs?
- have pupils either too small or too large?
- use Visine?
- have paper clips or lighters with resin in the bottom?
- have singed or burned eyebrows or lashes?
- use niacin (Vitamin B3) or bleach? (Used to give a drug test a false negative.)
Plus two more for heroin use: wears long sleeves or pants in warm weather (to cover needle marks) and household spoons have melted or been burned around the edges.
Most of this list was compiled by a mom with her son, a former drug user. For their privacy I am not going to “cite my source”.
If you believe in your gut your child is a user, don’t wait, get help. I have heard good things about Timberline Knolls Treatment Center. (However it is not faith-based and only serves women but this is a good place to start.)
My heart goes out to you if you find yourself and your young person in this situation. This can be overcome with God’s help! It will most likely take some time, but NOTHING is impossible with or for God!
With loads of faith, hope and love,
I lift my eyes to the hills-
where does my help come from?
It comes from the LORD,
the maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121: 1-2
Wife to Tom
Mom of four
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting