Do Sudden Changes in Your Teen Have You Concerned About Drugs?

You may be among the many parents who dreaded your child reaching the teenage years. You expected mood swings, attitudes and a reluctance to spend time with you, but you may have been pleasantly surprised when your child's high school years went by with only minimal disruption. You may have even already sent your teen off to his or her first years of college.

Because your child's early teenage years did not present much issue, you may have been looking forward to him or her spending the last couple of years as a teen — and legal adult — away at school. Of course, being on one's own can be vastly different than living at home, and you may have noticed some changes in your child over time.


At first, you may have believed that your child and college went together perfectly. His or her grades were up, and he or she seemed to find friends and enjoy a social life as well as the classes. However, whether on the phone or when your child came home for school breaks, later on you may have noticed some concerning behaviors, such as:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Change in attire or wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather
  • Loss of appetite or constant hunger
  • Behavioral issues at home and at school
  • Seemingly chronic runny nose or coughing
  • Lack of interest in school or previously favorite activities
  • Stealing from you or from others

If you notice any of these issues, you may wonder whether your child has simply started going through a rough time at school. However, in the back of your mind, you may have the worry that he or she has started using drugs.

Drugs on campus

Unfortunately, students from middle school to college ages often have some sort of access to drugs on school campuses. These substances can range from marijuana to prescription "study drugs" to heroin. Before jumping to conclusions, it may be in the best interests of both you and your child to discuss your concerns in hopes of finding the underlying issue. Supporting your child no matter what may allow him or her to feel as if help is available.

Drug charges

In some cases, a child's battle with drugs may only become apparent when criminal charges for possession or distribution come about. These allegations are serious, and if your child has ended up in such a predicament, you may need to explore criminal defense options in hopes of helping him or her address the situation.