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Warning Signs: My Child May Be an Addict After Leaving Home

Warning Signs: My Child May Be an Addict After Leaving Home

There are many mixed emotions you begin to feel when your child finally leaves the nest. Fear, excitement, and hope are just a few feelings that come up during this time. The combination of these intense emotions can lead you to have more concerns than you initially thought you did.

After you have raised them from birth, you hope they have evolved to be self-sufficient, independent, and responsible adults. It’s easy to monitor your child’s activities and lifestyle while they are still under your roof. However, after your child has left, how do you know they are doing well?

Once your child has left the house, they may be exposed to new social circles and environments that they are not familiar with. They may be introduced to substances that they have never taken, and in an environment where it seems socially excepted and normal. Here are some signs to look out for that your child may be an addict after leaving home.

How to Recognize Addiction

Addiction can be a tricky disease to recognize, as it presents itself in many different symptoms that differ from person to person. The symptoms of addiction may differ from the substance being used, how often they are being used, and the personal traits of the addicts. For example, an individual that is usually very outgoing may become more withdrawn and quiet.

On the other hand, someone who is usually a bit shyer may become very outgoing and spend many nights out all of a sudden. Aside from personality traits that may be affected by addiction, there are concrete symptoms that are telltale signs of addiction.

These signs include but are not limited to: 

  1. Weight changes
  2. Dilated or constricted pupils
  3. Bloodshot or glazed eyes
  4. Bruises or infections of the skin
  5. Changes in personality or attitude
  6. Increased aggression or irritability
  7. Sudden change in friends or social circles
  8. Depression or isolation
  9. Dramatic changes in priorities
  10. Financial problems

4 Signs that My Child May Be an Addict

1. Physical issues and changes to their appearance

When abusing alcohol or drugs for a long period of time, it is common for addicts to experience weight loss and gain. There are other physical changes that your child can begin to experience such as:

  • Red eyes, pupils appear larger or smaller than usual
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Lack of proper grooming
  • Unusual odors on breath, body, or clothing

2. Changes in behavior

Another warning sign of addiction is behavioral changes. These changes should be vigilant and consistent. Some of these behavioral changes include:

  • Secretive and suspicious behavior regarding where he or she is going
  • Barring family or friends from entering his or her room
  • Drastic changes in friendships or relationships with family members
  • Lying about activities and whereabouts
  • Mood swings and extreme irritability
  • Extreme hyperactivity or lethargy
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

3. School and work problems

During the addiction stage, the individual is no longer focused on academics or work. A warning sign that addiction may be an issue with your child is if he or she has multiple unexcused absences at school and poor grades. Some of the warning signs to be aware of include:

  • Frequently missing school or work
  • Drop-in a work performance or grades
  • Lack of interest in school, work, or other activities
  • Inability to maintain jobs

4. Financial issues

Lastly, addiction can cause your child to find themselves in financial trouble. Addiction is an expensive habit to maintain and the addiction itself can lead to financial problems. Some of these warning signs include:

  • A sudden lack of money
  • Sudden or increased requests for money without reasonable explanation
  • Missing money or other valuables

How to move forward

After coming to terms with your child’s drug addiction, the next step is finding them the appropriate help. Various alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers can also play their part in easing the problems associated with stress and confusion after leaving recovery.

By providing highly individualized services for both in and outpatients and those who have finished the program. At Harm Reduction Center, we offer all forms of care and treatment for mental health and addiction.