Is My Son Using Drugs?

Is My Son Using Drugs?

amya's picture
2 answers

How do I tell definitively if my son using drugs? He used secretly for 4 years, and never looks right, but his whole life is in a spin. He denies using, of course, and no one seems able to direct me. Do drug tests pick up unusual substance use, like household, or every kind of pill, chemical, ? If kids take GoldenSeal, they can conceal drug test results, and Ecstacy (his fav) passes through the system in 1-2 days. Insurance has been NO help, rehabs are totally scarce, some have turned him away, some don't even drug test. I'm so lost! How to send him off to inpatient rehab (I'll have to pay), if I don't know if he's using now? He's very defiant, by nature, and I don't want to send him unless I have proof he's using. Please HELP me!!!


Nana Banana's picture

Dear Amya,
Glad you reached out to this community because you can find the answers you are looking for. In addition to the other parents that are part of this group, who have so much to share, this site has free e-books to guide you step-by-step through the process of what to do NOW with your son. You don't mention his age and that is important in terms of what you can "make" him do. Drug testing is one option for getting a more comprehensive picture but nothing is fool-proof. One caution about drug testing is that the quick tests sold in drug stores can result in false positives and negatives and should always be verified by a NIDA certified laboratory. In terms of GoldenSeal and other "products" advertised to help people beat drug tests, they are not really effective. It's all of the water that users are instructed to drink with the GoldenSeal that MAY help flush out a drug prior to a drug test. Different drugs stay in the system for different periods of time and there are so many other factors to consider. So please don't try to become a drug testing expert or find "proof" before taking action. There are resources out there and you are not alone. You'll definitely receive additional answers here but it would be helpful to know how old he is. I want to also encourage you to check out your local Al-Anon group because this program helps thousands of parents (and other loved ones of addicts) stay sane when facing the insanity of this disease of addiction. Hope I didn't overload you with the drug testing info but I worked in that field for six years and old habits die hard! By the way, I really am not an expert in anything but I have been sober 22 years and know that recovery is possible. It just isn't possible in a vacumn. Hugs and prayers going out to you!

Olivia's picture

Nana Banana is on point. Our Intervention eBook located in the “Learn” section might be helpful. The eBook contains scientifically-vetted answers to tough questions like: How do I know for sure if my teen is using; How should I prepare for a talk with my child; How do I make sure the talk is productive; and What if my child needs outside help.

Regarding proof: Your suspicions are a strong indicator that something is wrong. Trust your parental instincts. Continue having conversations with your son so that he understands your concerns and you his. Our Time To Act website might be worth checking out. It has great tips and advice on how to facilitate productive conversation with a teen that may not know he/she has a problem with drugs. Our experts believe that recovery is possible if the person is willing to accept help from others and invest energy in working on getting help.

It’s also very important to make sure that you’re getting the help that you need. There are a number of resources available. Al-Anon, a Twelve Step program whose meetings are readily available in most communities across the country, provides support and guidance for family members, whether their loved one accepts treatment or refuses to get help. Many human service agencies provide help, including counseling and guidance centers, mental health clinics, and substance use treatment programs. Your family physician may be able to provide a referral. Employee assistance programs are also very experienced with addiction. Ask your human resources department for assistance.

Hope this helps.