I first want to apologize if this subject has been posted already -- I am NEW to here and I searched on my topic but didnt find what i was looking for.
How do you KNOW if your child (or loved one) is abusing substances? I read David's book when it was first released and now, i FEAR I am dealing with the same thing with my son. However, i have no proof - no physical hard proof of drug use. I only have proof of drinking - all else i suspect because of his behavior. But, when i bring it up, he denies it, he swears he doesnt do drugs, or he gets angry.
Can you get a recent hair sample? If so, there are online kits that you can purchase. I don't know how reliable they are, but I think it's important to cut through the bs. My son was the same way, and he is incarcerated now for violent use of a gun. He still denies it's meth. And, the system won't allow me to see what his blood test results are. It's a privacy issue. I cut his hair a few weeks before he did this. I wish I'd have kept the hair and got a kit. Look online and check out which test gets the best reviews. I think it's important to know the true so at least you don't have to put up with all that lying.
My son had a job, but NEVER seemed to have money. He didn't have to pay for anything, but when payday would come around he would be broke days later and need gas money to get to and from work or school. I also noticed his moods would go from being really happy to very angry and he seemed to sleep a lot. I am like you, I kept asking and he kept denying it, but I guess he finally got so fed up with me asking he confessed, but I know he knew that I knew. I told him I was not going to put up with the pot smoking and he got mad and left. After he left it then turned in to more than pot. I know you want to believe your son, but there is always that "what if" in the back of your mind. I pray that he is NOT doing any hard drugs. I know what kind of hole it has left in me. I pray you don't have to go through it.
You just know. Listen to you gut, it's always right. I wish I'd listened to mine when my son was young, he might not be in prison right now. He started with alcohol and pot and progressed into various hard drugs and finally his favorite was freebasing Oxycontin. He broke in and robbed numerous people in our neighborhood. He needed money for drugs. He went to prison for 18 months. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
He is not going to admit it unless you already have proof and then maybe... The first clue is his behavior which is already making us suspect he is using drugs.... if you suspect it he probably is. I hate to say it but i think we as parents don't start suspecting drug use until it is already happening. At least that was my experience. You don't say how old your son is which might make a difference. When my son was 15 he was doing poorly in school. sleep all afternoon, but was up half the night, seemed pretty apathetic etc. I was concerned and of course suspected drug use. What I told him was I was concerned and wondered if there was something medically wrong and so i was taking him to the doctor. At the doctors I made my concerns clear, his sleeping, his lethargy, him not doing well in school. So the doctor took me aside and asked my permission to do a drug test and I told him absolutely that was one of my concerns. When it came back he called and asked to talk to my son. Of course the test was positive but the doc did not tell me, instead he told me to talk to my son. So I went to my son and said ok the doctor called, adn wouldn't tell me anything but obviously then test came back positive so what are you doing? At that point my son kind of had to admit to me he was smoking pot.... which is all that showed up on the test (I checked). However we found out much later that he had tried a wholel lot more than pot!!! So my suggestion if he is under 18 is to take him to the doctor for a physical and call ahead and ask them to include a drug panel. If he is over 18 it is tougher.
You have to know what you are dealing with. I say test. If he is not using he will not have a problem taking the test. My son is almost 9 months clean - i still have him tested every week - a condition to living at home. He came to me last week and suggested that maybe we could reduce them - i said absolutly not - why fix what is not broken. Please keep in mind many of the drugs are out of the system in just a few days - pot will test positive for a month after use. A therapist told me to trust my "mommy flags" I do not want this to come across like i know what to do but i have had to learn everything the hard way - like many of us here so if we can help just one addict or loved one that is an accomplishment.