Monitor Your Teen's Social Media Accounts To See If He Or She May Have A Drug Problem

Although many teenagers are able to successfully hide a drug problem from their parents, you may begin to suspect that your teen is using substances for a variety of reasons. For example, the teen's grades may slip, his or her peer group may change, and your teen may suddenly become secretive. If you're seeing signs of the teen's drug use but haven't caught him or her in the act, you can do some research by viewing his or her social media profile. Few parents want to feel as though they're spying on a child, but where the child's health is concerned, you should feel free to do what you need. If you can prove that your child is using drugs, you can then take steps to get him or her into a treatment facility.

Look At Each Photo

Although it seems like a poor choice, many teens who abuse drugs post images of this activity on their social media accounts. By browsing your teen's online photo albums, you may be able to identify images that appear to show him or her smoking marijuana, for example. Similarly, you can note if there are pictures of your teen's friends engaging in drug-related behavior, as this could suggest there's a higher risk of your teen doing so, too.

Read The Posts

Unless they're sent as private messages, social media conversations between your teen and his or her friends may be visible. Browse these conversations carefully to look for references of drugs. Some teens will use codes to keep their activities secretive, but you have the Internet on your side. If your teen is using terms that you don't understand, simply look up the term online. For example, if a teen writes about getting a "J" for a party, this abbreviation could mean a joint or marijuana cigarette.

Reach Out To Other Parents

By checking your teen's friends, you'll often be able to view their pages and find out who their parents are. There's a chance that these parents may also be concerned about their teen's behavior, so you should feel free to send a direct message to any parents. Introduce yourself and explain that you're concerned about drug use by your teen and potentially by his or her friends. Explain that you're not looking to tattletale on anyone or get anyone in trouble, but rather that you're worried about your teen's health and are looking to get him or her help.

If you do find that your child has a drug problem, contact a health clinic near you about substance use disorder treatment to help your teen as soon as possible.