1. It is not always easy to tell whether your child is under the influence
of marijuana. Sometimes signs are more obvious, for example; dramatic
behavior changes including: silliness, frequent laughing, blood shot
eyes, dilated pupils, unusual hunger and snacking, and a sweet smoking
odor on clothes or on the child.
More often than not the child has been able to mask these signs to avoid
detection. To be more certain that drugs are present in the body, drug
testing is the way to find out .
2. Most experts in the field of treating adolescent (teenage) chemical
dependency will tell you to talk with your child directly if you find
drugs in his/her bedroom. Your child may deny that the drugs are theirs
often claiming that they are holding them for a friend. Try and avoid
arguing or getting into a power struggle with your child in an attempt
to force them to tell you the truth. If your child continues to deny
- tell them that you are concerned, and that the next time you suspect
any drug use activity, you will take them for a professional assessment.
the drugs you find away and destroy them.
3. Individuals who are involved with the illegal use of drugs and
alcohol - regardless of their age, will try and defend their right to behave
the way they want. Assume your child will be defensive when confronted. If
he admits to his use and asks for help, you are one step ahead. If he becomes
defensive try not to yell or be argumentative. Let your child know how you
feel, talking about your fears and worries. Your child can't deny or get defensive
about your feelings. Don't expect that this technique will change things immediately.
Your child needs to know how you feel and what to expect from you if you find
drugs or your child is under the influence again.
5. If your daughter is a teenager it is hard to change in a short time
what has taken 13, 14, 15, 16, years to create. Parents often forget
that the brain of young girls and teenage girls have not fully developed
in the same way adult brains have developed. Very often we find that
parents expect their children to understand or follow the same complicated
processes adults are expected to follow. Parents, adjust your expectations.
Don't engage in discussions or debates that end up in power struggles
- no one wins. Design a list of expectations for your child along with
a list of consequences for non-compliance that you as the parent follow
through on. Present these lists to your child in a "sober" moment,
in other words, when you are both in a mood to talk. Then paste it on
the refrigerator. If you follow this design, behavior will change in
4. It takes just a second to lose trust in someone you love and lots
of time and effort to gain trust again. Time usually heals these wounds
along with some effort from both parent and child. Adolescence is a time
when parents are usually shocked by the realization that their children
are becoming more private individuals withholding information and sometimes
not telling the whole truth. When drugs and alcohol are involved, it
seems to intensify the feeling for parents this idea of independence;
something that is part of normal adolescent development. If your child
is willing to work on repairing the relationship with his/her parents
can help by beginning to volunteer information about their daily lives
when not necessarily asked by mom or dad . This is a strategy and suggestion
you as parents can give to your child. Parents in turn need to support
these efforts and continue to observe behavior both positive and negative.
6. There is much controversy about this method of training for children
vis a vie responsible decision making with parents and how they model
their decision making for their children. In addition there are no guarantees
that children who are allowed to drink in the house, will limit this
behavior to the house and not drink with their friends on the street.
Many states and local communities also have laws that will ultimately
convict parents for providing alcohol beverages to minors. Be careful.
7. This question is really about whether or not you see yourself as
an "enabler". Depending on the family situation; for some families
bailing their child out of jail is just teaching the child that his behavior
will yield no consequence and is tolerated by his parents. For other
families, bailing the child out shows the child respect and love; that
when one mistake has been made, one can learn from it and move on. Either
way a more comprehensive discussion should take place with a licensed
professional to help the family determine the best course of action.
8. There are several different points of view regarding this question.
One common view puts forward the idea that if a parent feels the need
to ask the question, then there is enough concern to warrant further
investigation. Drug treatment consists of a range of interventions. Prevention/education
programs that are generally found in schools; Outpatient counseling with
a focus on possible drug/alcohol problems are found at clinics, hospitals
and with private practitioners; intensive out patient treatment is commonly
found in clinics and hospitals involving, group, individual and family
counseling along with attendance in 12 step programs (AA(NA); day or
evening programs which is generally limited to 2 week programs are commonly
found at hospital locations; and residential programs are substantially
separate facilities. This continuum of care is the spectrum of drug treatment.
Where an individual fits on the continuum is determined by an assessment
or evaluation. The assessment is the first step if you ask this question.
9. Frequently, Alcoholics Anonymous is recommended as a 12 step program
of choice for individuals with both drug and alcohol problems. In contrast
with Narcotics Anonymous, AA meetings are generally more available -
there are more meetings in the community; and it seems there are more
and more young people who have problematic drug and alcohol problems
- in combination. Both AA and NA are based on the same 12 - step principal
so whichever meeting one participates in can be helpful.
10. If you as a parent have suspicion that your child is using drugs, first ask your child directly and let him/her know of your suspicions and worries. If
you decide to use drug testing as a resource be sure to let your child know
in advance of your decision and how often the testing will take place and what
consequences will result if your child tests positive. Also make sure that
your child knows that if a laboratory result comes back "dilute sample" or "positive
abnormal specimen" that you consider these results to be positive. Note:
consult drug testing information link on this web site for more information.
Drug testing can be performed minimally 1-2 times weekly, in a random way (don't
inform him/her in advance which days they will be tested), to determine if
your child is ingesting substances during the week. consult with a substance
abuse professional to help you decide how long and how often drug testing should
11. The short answer is Yes, it may be true. Consult "How to Beat a Drug
Test" link on this web site for more detailed information. Depending on
the drug testing you use - some forms of collection and some forms of detection
are more reliable than others. The most reliable form of detection is: 1. observing
the collection; 2. use a NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) certified
lab; and 3. make sure testing protocol is supervised by a substance abuse professional.
12. Yes it is true that LSD ( a hallucinogenic substance) affects the central
nervous system and affects the spinal cord. In terms of detection, most NIDA
certified labs can detect the ingestion of LSD by means of urinalysis (urine
sample testing) - the same as other drugs of abuse detection.
13. Most drugs of abuse including; marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other opiates,
amphetamines, PCP (angel dust), benzodiazepines and barbiturates (look at the
section on drugs of abuse on this web site) can be tested through urinalysis.
Consult "How to Beat a drug test" link on this web site. Alcohol
can also be tested through urinalysis although it metabolizes quickly in the
body (24 hours or less). More effective testing for alcohol therefore is breathalyzer
or "the sniff test" - use your nose.
14. Many parents make the mistake of surprising their child with a drug test
to try and catch him/her before they expect the test to occur. A more effective
measure is when parents contract with their child before drug testing begins
so that both parents and child know what to expect. by using a behavioral or
contingency contract, both parent and child will know what the consequences
are for positive test results, how long testing will last and how often the
child will be tested. It's then up to the parent to follow through with the
agreement. this contract can also be affective as a way of getting your child
to submit to drug testing. Example: "If we find drugs in your room or
drug paraphernalia we will begin to drug test you."