How to tell if your child is using drugs

David Sheff, Best-Selling Author, shares advice for parents on how to recognize the signs that indicate that your child may be using drugs
How To Tell if Your Child Is Using Drugs
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How to tell if your child is using drugs

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When your kids are just starting to use drugs, it is more subtle. It is harder to know, and there are things to look out for. Kids whose mood change, somehow their personality changes. They went from being. You can just tell. There is a lightness, and it is no longer there. And then, there are sort of external things to look for, kids who aren´t eating, kids who are sleeping a lot or not sleeping at all, kids who are super, super anxious and sort of vibrating. Those are signs of drug use. Kids who have changed their friends. I mean things like that, but if a child has gotten on and is having serious problems with hard drugs, the signs still can be hard for us to see. But they are much more dramatic. Kids who are using opiates, who are taking pills are likely to be much more isolated, to spend a lot more time in their room. They are a lot sleepier. They are less aware. Even when you are hanging out with them, they are less responsive. On the other hand, kids who are using stimulants, crystal meth, cocaine, there is a jitteriness to them, grinding of their jaw, a physical anxiety, sort of a. It is a feeling. I mean I look back and realize that when my son, Nick, was using crystal meth, it was like this engine humming around the house. I didn´t understand it at the time because I didn´t know what to look for, but looking back, I realize that that´s what a kid looks like who is using methamphetamine.

David Sheff, Best-Selling Author, shares advice for parents on how to recognize the signs that indicate that your child may be using drugs

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David Sheff

Writer

David Sheff is the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, the follow-up to his New York Times #1 bestseller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s AddictionClean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public-health challenge of our time.

Beautiful Boy was based on Sheff’s article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine and won an award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.”  It was named the nonfiction book of the year by Entertainment Weekly.  

Named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People, Sheff also won the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence Media Award. Sanjay Gupta, MD, said, "As a clear-eyed chronicler of addiction, David is without peer.”

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