Parents want their children to be successful and happy, but there are many obstacles they encounter during adolescence. Sometimes these obstacles include substance use.
Realizing your adolescent may be using substances can be overwhelming and leave you feeling worried, guilty or isolated. You are not alone. Many other parents have found themselves in a similar position. Dealing with a child’s substance use, whether it is experimental or a more developed problem, is a reality for many parents.
As signs start to build, reach out for help. The challenges you are facing can be more manageable with support. Substance use can be a significant issue that can impact your child’s health, both physically and mentally. If you feel or think there is a problem, don’t delay in seeking help.
Here are some warning signs that your child may be using drugs:
- Behavioral and/or mood changes.
- Decline in grades.
- Items or money go missing.
- Memory problems.
- Isolation or abandoning social activities.
- Change in peer group.
- Glazed expression.
- Slurred speech.
- Eyes are red, heavy-lidded and may have constricted pupils.
- Possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia.
If you have just discovered or have reason to believe your child is using alcohol or drugs, prevention and intervention can help.
The Substance Abuse Prevention program, a partnership between the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board and Fairfax County Public Schools, works to provide substance use prevention, assessments and treatment to adolescents who are at risk of or who are actively using substances.
Specialized staff at seven high schools ensure youth have access to services to reduce substance use and address underlying issues that may lead to the decision to use. The program is confidential and staff are well versed in substance use and recovery.
Substance Abuse Prevention program staff are located at these schools:
- Herndon High School: 703-810-2200
- Langley High School: 703-287-2700
- Robinson Secondary School: 703-426-2100
- South Lakes High School: 703-715-4500
- West Potomac High School: 703-718-2500
- Bryant Alternative High School: 703-660-2000
- Mountain View Alternative High School: 703-227-2316
We are here to walk you through this process. If your child’s school is not listed above, call the Merrifield Center at 703-559-3000 and ask for the school Substance Abuse Prevention program.