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The child began to behave strangely: he hides his eyes, quickly passes into his room and communicates little with former friends. This worries the parents, and the most terrible thoughts come to mind: what if the child takes drugs and becomes an addict? How to find out what a child addict is? By what signs and features of behavior can this be understood? Read in our article.

Addiction is a youth disease, it is in adolescence that people start trying drugs, become addicts, and simply do not live to adulthood. Oddly enough, teenagers 15-17 years old and even children from 9 years old become drug addicts. That is, about 20% of all drug addicts in Russia are students who first tried drugs at school, in clubs, at discos.

Parents of children need to be very attentive to their child: be interested in his life, communicate, spend time together. Many children are sure (and drug sellers only support this opinion) that “soft” drugs are not addictive, that you can try it once, and nothing will happen. Unfortunately, the child’s body is very susceptible to the effects of narcotic drugs, therefore, it is necessary to identify drug use as soon as possible in order to immediately begin treatment and protect it from persistent incurable dependence.

So, how can you understand that something is wrong with the child and maybe he is taking drugs?

Strange behavior of the child

A child can stop communicating with his old friends, completely change his lifestyle: become closed, silent, secretive, close in his room or stay outside all the time. He may stop communicating with his parents: avoid them, not answer the phone or say something slurred, not say where he is and what he is doing. One of the signs of addiction is a continuous lie for any reason, a trick. Also noticeable is the change in the child’s attitude to everything that was previously interesting to him, apathy.


People who started using drugs cease to monitor themselves, become sloppy, do not follow the rules of personal hygiene.

From the side of changes in the body, swelling of the extremities, pale or gray skin, reddish eyeballs, a change in look, and the condition of the hair can deteriorate taking drugs. If a person “pricks”, then he will have bruises in the area of ​​veins on his hands and nocks, traces of injections, cuts, burns on his body. Movement becomes clumsy, inhibited.

A child can ask parents and other relatives for more pocket money, and some things, money can also disappear in the house. Ask other relatives if the child contacted them for money.

Communication and interests

A child taking drugs begins to use new words, gestures, while ceasing to communicate with his former acquaintances, and prefers not to talk about new ones. To all his hobbies he becomes indifferent. He tries to hide from his parents and does not avoid communicating with them: he disappears on the street, sits with friends at home or in his room.

The manifestation of drug intoxication

During drug intoxication, depending on the type of drug, a person may manifest various signs: mockery for any reason, excessive activity and talkativeness, or vice versa - apathy, lethargy. Aggression, irritability, chaotic and causeless change of mood. Narrowing or widening of the pupils. Increased or decreased appetite, the desire to eat "delicious." Lack of coordination of movements, etc.

Of course, different sets of these signs may indicate not only that the child is taking drugs, but also that he smokes or drinks, or simply experiences some difficulties. If the child’s behavior already has several alarming signals, this is an occasion not just to think, but to start acting - talk with the child and his friends, go to school, observe and, of course, not leave everything to chance.

Admitting to yourself that your child has problems, that your child is a drug addict, is difficult, but the sooner you understand and discover this, the easier it will be for you to help him.

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Teenage rampant and drugs

Of course, adolescents are basically rebellious, courageous, and sometimes reckless.

They are experiencing a difficult period for themselves, full of changes.

They develop sexual interest, and they need to belong to some community of their peers (for self-determination).

For this period, various experiments are characteristic, as well as attempts to “not break away from the team”, “to be on the same wavelength” with your friends and friends.

The influence of friendships on each specific young person is closely related to the environment in which they develop. “Tell me who your friend is, and I will say who you are” ...

And if, in addition to everything in the family, there was no or a channel of healthy confidential communication was lost, then it becomes much harder to find out about the impending disaster, while you need to act quickly to save the child.

Drugs: the enemy we underestimate

Many adolescents and their parents view drug use as a normal practice that can be abandoned “later”.

They do not assume that they may become addicted and will be drawn into their addiction for life.

They don’t realize what problems they’ll have in their personal and professional life, they don’t realize how they undermine their health ...

Young people are unaware that their drug experiment could turn into a serious problem.

Parents, in turn, often refuse to admit the obvious and, most importantly, never believe that such a thing can happen to “their” child. Only not with him ...

Thus, most are simply unprepared to face this problem, and they are completely unaware of what actions to take.

The first thing to do is to determine whether the child’s inappropriate behavior is a consequence of hormonal changes characteristic of his age or not.

It is important to look deeper into the conflicts themselves and be sure to check whether his strange behavior may be due to the fact that the child is taking drugs.

Doubtful substances tried every seventh

A year ago, the Riga City Council Welfare Department presented a study of the influence of risk factors that cause addiction to intoxicants in adolescents. The survey was conducted anonymously. The participants are students of 10 classes, that is, children 15-16 years old.

Also, a significant part of schoolchildren at least once in their life tried narcotic substances - marijuana (16%), over-the-counter sleeping pills and tranquilizers (12%), mixtures of herbs (7%). Boys and girls who have tried drugs at least once are more likely to become depressed. The survey also showed that the use of illegal stupefying substances is more associated with the unstable emotional state of the child, experiences and crises and serves as a means of reducing emotional stress.

At risk - children without special occupations and from disadvantaged families

Most often, adolescents who do not have special activities after school get into the addiction network. However, this is precisely the same age when it is already more difficult for a child to motivate and force to do something without his will. By the way, when asked about their emotional state, 25% of boys and girls (that is, every fifth!) Said that they often did not feel interested in doing something, 18% were nervous and had difficulty falling asleep, 17% felt tension. Children who use addictive addictive substances experience such feelings more often.

“If you see that something is wrong with your child, he has become more suspicious, irritable, often nervous, refuses his usual activities or food, sleeps poorly, or his circle of communication has changed dramatically - there is reason to think: is your a child under the influence of stupefying substances, ”says Tatyana Grigoryeva, specialist in addiction prevention at the Social Service of the Welfare Department of the Riga City Council,

2. Look into the eyes

Eyes are a great indicator of any addiction.

Each narcotic substance has a peculiar effect.

Hemp, for example, causes redness of the eyes and makes them "sleepy."

And cocaine and ecstasy cause dilatation of the pupils, the gaze becomes very open, and the eyes are rounded.

Marijuana and psychotropic substances

If a child drinks alcohol - there is a characteristic smell, when it comes to drugs and medicines - there may not be a smell. “Not a single narcologist will say by eye whether the teenager was taking anything or not. It’s even harder for a parent to guess. Therefore, if there is a suspicion that he was still taking it, it is better to contact the Riga Center for Psychiatry and Narcology on ul. Twika, 2, where they will do a free blood test and everything will become clear, ”the specialist explains.

"Datura" is not as accessible as it seems to many parents. Those who think that drugs cost a lot of money are also mistaken. In addition to spice and other “synthetics,” modern teens use marijuana and medical psychotropic substances that can be bought without a prescription.

Students themselves do not see the problem. And very often, they not only use illegal drugs, but also distribute them: drug dealers take advantage of the gullibility of young people. Doubtful businessmen pretending to sell tranquilizers under the guise of dietary supplements are intended for people suffering from depression, insomnia, etc.

3. Excessive irritability

Hormonal changes cause mood swings in both sexes.

But those that generate drugs are superior to these differences in terms of manifestation.

Young people become very irritable and aggressive, especially when their body requires a new dose of drugs, but they have not yet taken it.

They become “loners” and move away from everyone, especially from their parents, in order to be able to use drugs and not give anyone an explanation.

A helping hand is nearby. Is free!

“In order to solve the problem of child dependence, we are contacted by social workers, teachers, less often parents. If there are suspicions, we always send the child to the Riga Center for Addiction and Psychiatry, where they will conduct an examination and the child will be supervised by a doctor. At our place in the addiction prevention sector of the Riga Social Service, children and parents will receive an explanation of the process of emergence of addiction and co-dependence, psychological and emotional help, and motivation to end life with addiction, ”comments Tatyana Grigoryeva.

Many parents do not know that with the Riga Social Service there is an opportunity to get help with all kinds of addictions (including drug intoxication) in both children and adults. Is free! Individually and in groups. Help is provided not only to the poor and needy.

At present, there are four addiction prevention specialists working in the Riga Social Service, who advise both adolescents and adults:

  • tell why the addiction
  • provide psychological and emotional help,
  • help to find motivation in a child to break the craving for addictions,
  • help solve problems in relationships with adults or adolescents.

Teenagers can take part in group classes.

  • Information about the work of specialists is available on this site, as well as in branches of the Riga Social Service.
  • Additional information is available by calling Cristina Moserte, Head of the Addiction Prevention Sector, tel. 67037953 ([email protected]). She takes on the 1st floor in the 111th office on the street. I see 3.
  • Here you can read information about how classes are held with addiction prevention specialists (they are also available in Russian!)

4. Medicine disappears from the first-aid kit

When a child takes drugs, or rather, just begins to do it, he usually experiments with various drugs, because it is "just to try."

And a first-aid kit can become a source of these substances for them. Diazepam or various cough syrups are most in demand among those who have already tried them or are trying to involve others.

So if you notice a loss of medicine - it's time to talk seriously.

The child will not live with the stigma. The main thing is to sort out his problems.

It should be noted that if addiction to drugs is confirmed, parents and adolescents will have to visit an addiction specialist, as well as a narcologist in the center on ul. Twilight, more than once. Most often, the rehabilitation process takes about a year. Parents do not need to fear that your child will have to live all his life with the stigma of a drug addict and registered with the hospital. The most important thing is that the addiction actually disappears and there is no craving for new ones. And there are many temptations in our world - these are not only stupefying substances, alcohol and cigarettes. Modern dependencies include the phone, computer games and other gadgets, as well as overeating, or vice versa, the desire to starve.

And still very important information: recently a center has been opened in Riga to combat child dependence, where you can go through a cycle of classes and consultations for children suffering from one or another painful affection for free. Read more about the work of the center here.

5. Become irresponsible: does the child take drugs?

One of the most damaging effects of any addictions is the habit of giving up everything and messing around.

If a child takes drugs, he usually abandons his studies, as well as everything that was previously his responsibility.

He becomes irresponsible and leads an idle lifestyle. His school performance is significantly reduced, and he ceases to attend additional classes that previously aroused his interest.

Changes in the behavior of the child are actually obvious, provided that the parents know their children.

Then they can instantly suspect something was wrong.

Depending on the type of narcotic substances (stimulants or relaxants), the symptoms will vary.

If a child moves and speaks too fast and abruptly, maybe he takes amphetamines.

If the child can not sleep for two days, chances are he takes cocaine.

And if he looks tired and his reaction is slowed down, the cause may be cannabis (hemp).

It must be clarified that all of the above signs are not indicators that the child is definitely an addict. But the more behavioral changes appeared, the greater the likelihood ...

The main thing is to be vigilant, attentive to your children, to be involved in their lives: know what they are doing, with whom they are friends, what they are interested in.

Daily and effective communication is the basis for staying close to them and preventing situations such as drug addiction. published by

If you have any questions, ask

P.S. And remember, just changing our consciousness - together we change the world! © econet

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Advice of a narcologist, how to notice that something is wrong with your child

Commented by a psychiatrist, psychotherapist Ariel Reznik-Martov

Parents should be alert if the child:

  • too drowsy, inhibited in communication, apathetic (it is likely that he takes psychotropic medications),
  • on the contrary, it is too excited, aggressive, inadequately behaving (such a reaction is caused by spice and similar substances),
  • he has too red eyes or dilated or narrowed pupils,
  • he loses interest in previous hobbies, makes a new circle of friends (often dubious).

How to act in this situation:

A teenager is unlikely to immediately admit that he is using something. He will unlock, hide until the last. Therefore, for the parent, the most important thing is to learn to speak frankly with your child. In general, talking, discussing his “teenage” problems, more interested in how your child lives. After all, not only children from dysfunctional families who are “not busy with anything” break down. A student who is overloaded due to excessive parental ambitions with out-of-school activities can also “break down” in protest at one point and begin to relax with drugs or alcohol. The child should do what he really likes.

It is unlikely that a teenager can be checked by a doctor or specialist for a consultation by force. It is important how parents can negotiate. Если ребенок отказывается, то иногда приходится идти на непопулярные меры и ограничения, чтобы добиться желаемого поведения (это может быть лишение гаджетов и пр.). Совет, как это сделать, может дать и специалист.

Кстати, атипичное поведение у ребенка может быть и при других видах зависимостей, например, от компьютерных игр, социальных сетей и пр.

Paradoxically, in most cases, the causes of unwanted behavior in a child lie in the relationship between family members - parents and children. Therefore, first of all, parents need to think about their relationship, seek timely help from specialists themselves, then, perhaps, the worst problems can be prevented.

Photo: infografika

Drug and alcohol screening

If you suspect that your child is using drugs, you should not neglect them. Take a closer look at the child. The following are signs indicating a child's use of narcotic substances:

  • Your child has become less concerned about his appearance,
  • Sometimes you find drugs in his room,
  • Your child has a strange company or has stopped communicating with old friends. The social circle influences a teenager’s upbringing very much, and a bad company can encourage him to use drugs,
  • Your child began to behave more aggressively towards relatives and relatives. Sometimes he generally closes in and shows a reluctance to make contact,
  • Your child began to study worse, skip school, he lost interest and incentive to study.

How to find out if a child has tried drugs?

If you suspect that your child has started to use or just tried some drugs or alcohol several times, do not be silent. Proceed as follows:

  • Ask him directly if he was taking any drugs or alcohol, what did he feel, did he like this activity? Listen carefully to what the child will tell you, try to understand the reasons why he did it. In this case, the closeness of your relationship plays a very important role. The closer you are, the more frank he will be with you. Ask who gave him the drugs and with whom he used them.
  • Tell him about your concerns, do not focus only on drug use. Also tell us that you are concerned about his poor performance at school,
  • Remind him of the norms of behavior in your family, as well as the consequences awaiting him if he does not adhere to these norms. If you do not want your child to consume any drugs, including alcohol and cigarettes, tell him about it. If you don’t know how to tell him more correctly, consult a qualified psychotherapist or narcologist,
  • Give your child an example of already existing cases in your family of alcohol or drug addiction (if they were), and explain that if he quits now, then, perhaps, he will avoid many negative consequences,
  • Regularly conduct preventive discussions with your child about the negative effects on the body of the use of toxic substances, alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.

What if you lose control of the situation?

As a result of taking alcohol or drugs, the child often has difficulties at school and at home, problems in communicating with people around him. If your child uses drugs, and you see that your conversations do not give the desired result, you must do the following:

  • Inquire and find evidence that your child is using drugs,
  • Show your child to the doctor. Let him examine your child. Remember, the sooner you do this, the more chances your child has to return to a full life,
  • Start attending support groups for relatives of drug addicts or alcoholics. Now there are special courses for parents, which discuss all the problems and consequences of adolescents taking alcohol or drugs. It is important to know that your child's use of drugs is a problem for the whole family, and not just him. All people around the child feel negative consequences.