Do You Suspect Your Teen Is Using Drugs?

How to handle my teen is doing drugs? What to do if you suspect your teen is using drugs?


When safety trumps privacy, it’s time to snoop. Let’s face it, teenagers can be very sleek at concealing what they are doing. Parents have a difficult task of keeping up with their teen’s activities, grades, friends and whereabouts — and today we have the added challenge of technology.


PexelTeenSleepingLet’s consider some red flags:


  • Is your teen sleeping more than normal?
  • Is your teen withdrawn? Bloodshot eyes?
  • Is your teen changing peer groups?
  • Is your teen becoming secretive?
  • Is your teen changing their eating habits?
  • Is your teen sneaking out?
  • Are their grades dropping – are they failing?
  • Is your teen becoming defiant, full of rage, angry – even explosive?
  • Overall, is your teen slowly becoming a child you don’t recognize?


I am a firm believer that a parent’s gut can be a good trigger if there is something suspicious going on with your child. In many cases, a parent can sense when their teenager is struggling. But do we act on it or assume it is a phase and will pass?

We hear from many teens that since marijuana is legal in many states that it’s harmless. As parents we know differently, but convincing our child can be a struggle. More and more we are hearing reports of fentanyl laced marijuana. This can be deadly.


Fentanyl  is a leading cause of drug overdoses in the United States, and some people who overdose do not know they are using fentanyl.


You suspect your teen may be using drugs. You have asked them and they deny it. Do you believe them?

Know the Drug Slang


Do you know what they are really saying? Are you familiar with drug-slang that teens are using? Just as important as who your kids are hanging with, parents need to be in touch with the slang-chat that teens using today. Have you reviewed their text messages? Their social media sites? Emails?

Your gut-check has now informed you that the average monitoring is going to cross the boundaries into snooping. But when safety trumps privacy, your child’s health is a priority. If you see or hear your teen talking about the following terms or using them in text messages or on social networking sites, your teen might be involved in some type of drug activity.


  • Red Devils, Velvet, Drex, Rojo, Candy, Dex, Robo, Skittles, Tussin, Vitamin D: OTC -Cough Medicine (Dextromethorphan) Kids who use cough syrup are often called “syrup heads”
  • CCC, Triple C: OTC Cough Syrup with Coricidin
  • Snow, Coke, Nose candy, White, Toot, Charlie, Powder: Cocaine
  • Green, Trees, Pot, Herb, Grass, Weed, 420, Chronic, Tea, Blunt: Marijuana
  • Special K, Vitamin K, Breakfast cereal, K, Ket, Horse Tranquilizer: Ketamine
  • Ecstasy, E, Essence, Hug Drug, Molly, X, Stacy, XTC, Adam, Clarity, Lover’s speed: (MDMA)
  • Brown sugar, H, Horse, Junk, Smack, Anti-freeze, Poison: (Heroin)
  • Speed, Crank, Chalk, Fire, Glass, Ice: Methamphetamine
  • Kibbles and Bits, Pineapple: Ritalin
  • Roofies, R-2, Roachies: Rohypnol – Date rape drug

Be an educated parent and always take the time to sit down with your teenager and discuss the trends with them. Show your teen you are a concerned parent and you care about their safety and their health. Never stop talking about the risks — especially with the reports of fentanyl laced marijuana since many of our young people believe this can never happen to them.


Read: The 5 Benefits of Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens.

Read: The Goals of Residential Treatment for Troubled Teens.


If your teen is abusing drugs and you’ve exhausted your local resources, contact us to learn more about how residential treatment can help your teen and your family.


(Sources: WedMD, AboveTheInfluence)

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