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Concerned your child may be taking drugs? Here’s how to tell

College is a time of great change for your child – a time for them to test social norms and to see where they feel comfortable in the greater world. Part of that desire to push boundaries may involve alcohol or illegal drugs.

You may suspect your child of using alcohol or illegal drugs and be afraid they might end up in jail. There are signs of drug use you can look for.

Most popular drugs

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse at The National Institutes of Health (NIH), these were the most popular drugs among college students in 2016:

  • Alcohol – 78.9 percent of students report they used it in the previous year
  • Marijuana – 39.3 percent report previous use
  • Adderall – 9.9 percent report previous use
  • Tranquilizers – 4.9 percent report previous use
  • Ecstasy – 4.7 percent report previous use
  • Cocaine – 4 percent report previous use
  • Prescription narcotics – 3.8 percent report previous use
  • LSD – 3.1 percent report previous use
  • Heroin – 0.2 percent report previous use

In addition, NIH found that of those using drugs, 44 percent said they had driven a car while using drugs.

Telltale signs

If you’re worried about your child and excessive drug use, there are signs you can look for. They include:

  • Withdrawal from usual activities
  • Different friends
  • Change in eating patterns, particularly dramatic weight loss
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Financial difficulties, including an increase in stealing
  • Decline in academic or sports performance
  • Unexplained absences from school or sports

While it’s a good idea to give your child some room to grow, unfortunately sometimes the first sign a parent sees of adverse behavior is after your child is arrested.

If this should happen, contact a qualified, experienced attorney to help you and your child out of this mess. Depending on the individual circumstances of each case, your child may be able to admit their mistake and grow from the experience.

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