Just the fact that a substance is sold as legal, doesn’t mean that it’s safe - you can’t be sure what’s in a ‘legal high’ that you have been given or taken and what effect it’s likely to have on you.
Individuals using drugs try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problems.
If you are worried that a family member or friend might be using drugs
look out for the following signs below.
1. Changes in physical appearance
2. Sudden mood swings, irritability or angry outbursts
3. Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviours
4. Drop in attendance and performance at school/work
5. Stealing - Unexplained need for money
6. Sudden weight loss or gain
7. Irregular sleeping/eating patterns
8. Lack of motivation, or appearing lethargic
9. Unexplained change in personality or attitude
10. Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
Young people tend to ask the same questions about drinking and there are two vital things you need to keep in mind:
If you don’t talk to them they will go somewhere else with their questions about alcohol and what they learn may not be helpful.
It’s perfectly OK to say “I don’t know” or “I haven’t thought about that yet” or “That makes me feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.”
You don’t have to be the one with all the answers when it comes to talking to your child about underage drinking.
All you have to do is to be the one they come to with most of the questions.
A DOCTORS POINT OF VIEW
Dr Sarah Jarvis discusses these risks from a GP’s perspective.
SOME MORE SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR
In order to keep track of where your child is, you should ask questions like:
what company they are keeping
who the parents, guardians or carers of their friends are
why they are always late home
why they do not want to get up in the morning
why they are not eating
whether they are missing school
why they lock their bedroom door
why they have so much money and where did it come from
what they are doing when they are out
Ask these questions in a caring way. They should not show distrust and a lack of confidence in your child and always keep lines of communication open at all times.