Guest Post by Trevor McDonald

No parent ever wants to think about their child experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Especially when they are underage and unaware of the consequences that come with substance abuse. There are multiple different reasons as to why a child abuses drugs and alcohol. Some examples include peer pressure, a curious experimentation phase, or maybe they were influenced by the way parents or adults portrayed alcohol to them growing up.


If you have been having concerns about your child regarding their exposure to drugs and alcohol, these are the seven main warning signs that your child is abusing them:

1. They become unexpectedly distant

By distant, we’re not referring to the classic “moody” teenage phase. While children need their space at times, it’s concerning if they seem to be purposely avoiding you, staying out past curfew, or keeping conversations and interactions curt.

2. You notice their friend group has completely changed

Not only do you notice that your child’s friend group has changed – your child has stopped introducing you to their friends altogether and only briefly mention them in passing. There’s no need for your child to avoid the conversation about friends with you unless they had a reason for hiding who they were.

3. They become defensive when you ask them certain questions

Certain questions such as “how are you?” or “what’s been going on?” seem to invoke hostile answers or a snappy response about how you’re too nosey or interested in their lives. Truthfully, sometimes we do get a little pushy asking them about every detail of their life. But if it seems that every conversation turns into a battle-zone every time you speak to your child – especially, if they have no reason to be hostile – there is something to be concerned about.  

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