A lot of parents don’t notice the warning signs when their children may be abusing drugs. Searching for your child’s hidden stash of drugs is a scenario you hope to never encounter, but you should educate yourself on what types of ways people are hiding substances.
Hidden Stash of Drugs
Susan Lockwood of Ohio, a mother who lost her daughter to a drug overdose, explained how incidents like sand paper in the trash “never crossed [her] mind” as warning signs of drug use. She explained, “I said to her ‘What is a teenage girl doing with sandpaper in your room? Are you doing some home remodeling I don’t know about?’ and we kind of laughed it off. She never did say anything.”
Susan had no idea her daughter, Zoey, was using sandpaper to smooth down pills to turn into powder so that she could snort them to get high. “Had I [known its use], and then found that sandpaper in her room, I would have known to say ‘we need to talk’. Because I had no clue,” Susan admitted. She cautions, ““Listen, if you don’t think it’s in your family, you are blind, because it’s in every family.” There are now programs where officers act as educators to emphasize how individuals like children, young adults, and other addicts turn typical products into their own hidden stash of drugs.
Warning Signs of Drug Use
Although no parent wants to think that their child could be abusing substances, noticing the signs of drug use is important because ignoring a problem or being oblivious to it, doesn’t make it magically go away. Addressing the issue gives both parent and child an opportunity to be able to face the problem head-on, before it worsens.
Some behavioral warning signs that may indicate a loved one is abusing drugs can include, but are not limited to lying, avoiding contact, isolating, losing interest in formerly enjoyed activities, increased or decreased amount of sleep, slurred speech, weight gain or loss, sneaky behavior, acting strange, impulsive spending habits, lack of empathy, lack of hygienic care, and not wanting to hang around friends.
Conducting the Search
If you are under the impression that your child is abusing drugs, and more than one of the warning signs are present in your child’s behaviors, then you should consider conducting a search for a hidden stash of drugs. When searching for the stash, be sure to check for bottles stuffed in drawers, pillow cases, in between the fiber glass of walls, underneath the carpet, behind the picture frames, inside candy wrappers, in busted hairbrushes, in highlighter caps, little baggies, pieces of tissues rolled up, cuts in stuffed animals, and think outside the box! Remember that drug users are crafty and sneaky because this disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful. Addicts and substance abusers will do anything to hide their disease so that they can continue using.
It can be difficult to accept that a child may be abusing drugs, but living in denial won’t help your child find their way toward the process of recovering from a substance use issue. The reality is that substances can cause people to commit actions they wouldn’t normally, so take the first step toward fighting back against this cunning, baffling, and powerful illness that wants to take down the entire family limb by limb.
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