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What To Do When You Suspect Your Teen Is Using Drugs

What To Do When You Suspect Your Teen Is Using Drugs

Circle of Moms member Kim J. suspects her teen of using drugs. "I found something in my son's room that leads me to think that my son is smoking pot," she says. "What should I do?"

Though her son is not yet a teen, Shannon T. says she's already got a plan in place and plans to be proactive with her children. "I think we are going to offer our son money if he doesn't do drugs all through high school," she says. "We haven't worked out the details. But a friend of my hubby's dad did that and it worked. I will do anything to keep my kids off drugs."

Carolee Y. says she would definitely employ tough love and take swift action. "I would check him in to rehab, and then make him pay me back for that," she says.


But, others say they would steer clear of scare tactics. Emma B. says: "The scare tactics about getting hooked and it ruining your life never had much affect as most teens think that only happens to other people anyway."

Trusting Your Instincts

Most Circle of Moms agree that when dealing with your teen and drugs, it's always best to trust your instincts,  Angela E. offers advice from the front lines: "I have a son that has some major problems, but about two years ago, bad went to worse. I knew my son was starting to smoke weed and I was extremely concerned. I talked to professionals about it, they said talk to him and leave the lines of communications open but not to freak out because, well, it's only pot." But, later Angela E. says she learned from the police that pot is typically laced with stronger drugs, and her son's drug problems worsened. "Less than a month later, my son went missing and I had the worst week of my life. We found my son in a meth house. I am not saying this to scare you, I just think your first instincts are usually right and not to ignore them or just think, 'oh well its just pot." 


It's easy and natural to want to deny that your teen may be using drugs, but Circle of Moms members say the best approach is the most direct one and to confront your teen. "Personally, I would ask them directly in a calm manner and depending on their response, take it from there," says Concetta M. "But remember, stay calm, and show and tell them they can come and talk to you about anything."

Using Home Drug Tests

Many Circle of Moms members say they want to know definitively if their teen is doing drugs and so they are mandating home drug tests. As Shelly B. advises, "Go down to the local drug store and buy a home drug test. Trust went out the window when you found whatever it was you found. Better to be safe than sorry. Even if it comes up negative, at least he knows you're watching and he may think twice."

Megan B. agrees: "My best friend's mom and dad drug tested her every month. She started running with the wrong kind of people and they wanted to make sure they could trust her. She passed all of them for eight months and they told her they'd back off a bit and just do it whenever they felt like it. It kept her away from drugs." 

Opening the Lines of Communication

Honest, open and candid conversations also are key, says Patti H. "Talk to your child, openly and honestly and rationally, [even it it's] difficult. I found my daughter doing some drinking and she lied to me about it. I had thought about how I was going to handle it while giving her a few days to come clean with me. She got in more trouble for lying to me than for breaking any other rule."


When Julie R. found her daughter smoking pot, she shares that, "I told her that it is very addictive and that it could also be laced with something else. I explained that [it] could actually harm her deeply or kill her. I know it sounds harsh but these days you just never know what's been put into it."

Preparing to Intervene

Circle of Moms members agree that you have to decide and then tell your teen what you will do if you find proof that he or she is doing drugs. As Shelly B. says, "We took his bedroom door off and took everything out of his room except his bed and dresser. And, as we tested him, [whenever] he had a clean test we would give him something back. He still doesn't have a door on his room...and it will be awhile before I trust him to do that."

Some Circle of Moms suggest seeking an immediate intervention by getting a professional involved. "Don't be afraid to confront," says Sherry M. who did exactly that when she caught her son with drugs. "You are the parent; you have the power at this point. We went into drug counseling and into family group with him, which are other kids using and their parents. If nothing else, it gave us other parents to talk with that were going through the same stuff. It also gave him information on what the drug was really doing to him. Kids think pot is no big deal, but the pot that is out there now has little if no [resemblance to] the pot of the 60s or 70s. Remember, if your gut tells you there might be a problem, don't ignore it."

What did you do when you suspected your teen was doing drugs?

Image Source: Chris 8800 via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

MaggieSwann1363581937 MaggieSwann1363581937 4 years
I totally agree. Getting a counsellor involved as soon as we found out my son was smoking cannabis was definitely the right thing to do for us. The counsellor had seen it all before and could advise us on why my son was acting like he was. The counsellor explained about the lying, the anger, the aggression etc. He also explained how cannabis addicts will create a row to give them the excuse to leave the house to smoke. Once you know that's what they're doing you can put yourself back in control. I knew nothing about drugs, I'd never tried anything at all, so I was glad to have the counsellor's help through the minefield that was to follow. Maggie Swann Author of "Get real mum, everybody smokes cannabis"
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