I was reading something on a website today about how to know if your child is a heroin addict. It was asking: does your child need to do heroin every day? Do they carry a constant supply? do you see track marks in their arms?
I get the point but…these aren’t the items I would list. First off — if they’re doing it, they’re probably addicted. Period. Second, you probably aren’t going to know if they have a supply, and tracks, sure, that’s an obvious one. But what about the less obvious, beginning signs? Here’s my list (in no particular order) (note: no one symptom means your child is a heroin addict, but they are strong clues, especially if you can say yes to two or three at a time):
- You can’t figure out where all your spoons went. Didn’t you have eight teaspoons in your set? Maybe one went missing but five? “Kids — have you seen our spoons?”
- Almost all teens sleep late. But your teen stays in bed until 3PM and now hangs blankets over his/her bedroom windows to keep out every trace of sunlight. When you complain they slur, “Jeez mom…it’s nothing…I just need to sleep. Crap. Leave me alone, it’s not a big deal.”
- Two hours later they are up, awake, full of energy, happy, chatty, cleaning their room, and asking if they can run errands, (complete mood change). And if you mention the blanket on the window thing, they’ll say yes, sure, okay … but they won’t actually take them down.
- Day one: “Mom, can I have money for cigarettes and gas? I know you gave me some yesterday, but Joe’s mom needed some groceries so I lent him some money to pick them up for her.” Day two: “Mom, can I have ten dollars for gas? I know you gave me some yesterday but …” Day three: [you know the drill]
- I could swear I threw this belt away last week because it’s way to small for him. What’s it doing on my son’s floor again? Oh, and here’s the belt his brother was looking for the other day too. And yet he never wears a belt when he needs to. Darn kids.
- What’s with the little pieces of tin foil laying around these days? Kids? What are you doing??
- Their friends are just walking in the house without even knocking or saying hello to me. When did I lose control of this household?
- He comes in at midnight like he said he would. But then you hear the door open again at 2AM and again at 4AM … always another excuse.
- A needle in his bathroom cabinet. Clearly.
- The once intelligent, loving boy is now a rebellious, lazy young man. Face it. Time to get help.