Teens and Drug Use: Where the Problems Fall

It is a concept no parent even wants to think about: their child has a drug problem. From all of the stories we see on the news every day to the thought that we somehow made this problem, your child testing positive for drugs, being caught with drugs on their person, or even charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, teens are an incredibly vulnerable population as the war on drugs rages on.

If your child is in any way connected with drugs, you need to ensure that he or she gets the legal help needed to recover from addiction, move past their legal woes, and move on with his or her life. The minute that you learn of a teen’s drug charge, you need to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer that has experience with drug-related cases.

How Do I Know If My Teenager Has a Drug Problem?

Knowing ahead of time that your child has a drug problem can help you to avoid at least the legal ramifications. While everyone shows different signs of a problem, there are some basic ones to pay attention to:

  •    A sudden drop in grades
  •    Loss of interest in activities like sports, band theater, etc.
  •    Poor hygiene
  •    Mood swings
  •    New friends

There are also a few signs that your child may be involved not in using drugs, but in selling or transporting drugs. These include:

  •    More money than they’d normally have or can reasonably account for
  •    New clothing or gadgets
  •    Going out for short periods of time and random times
  •    Paraphernalia (baggies, scales, large amounts of cash)

These are only some of the signs of teenage drug use or sale, and they could be part of normal puberty – almost all teens will have bouts of moodiness and periods of lost interest in certain things they once loved. Knowing your child and talking to him or her can help you to understand better when there may be some trouble – even if it isn’t drug related.

If your child is in trouble and you do ignore it, getting caught with drugs or selling drugs can be incredibly impactful in the rest of his or her life.

College Application, Acceptances, & Scholarships

For many teenagers, college is the next step in their plan to lead good lives. Most colleges are competitive, which means that they are looking for ways to trim from the people who apply – many of whom have similar GPAs, activities, and community service records. One way they cut? They ask if the person applying has been convicted of a crime. The question is enough to have people disqualified from enrolling in that school. For people who are looking to go to more competitive schools, it can be a devastating blow, even if your family has worked through the drug problem and come out successfully on the other side.

Even if your child does get accepted to college, the federal government might not provide financial aid to those convicted of drug charges. Since college is cost-prohibitive for most parents, this can completely eliminate the chances of their child attending any school.

Future Employment Can Be Impacted As Well

Some jobs require that those applying or working there have random drug testing. If your teenager tests positive, he or she may be fired from that job. Since possession of drugs and drug use are crimes, your child could even face jail time.

When looking for employment, people have to disclose whether or not they have a drug conviction on their job applications. While employers are not supposed to discriminate, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen frequently.  Your child could be suffering the consequences of these convictions for the rest of his or her life.

School, Sports, and Team Suspensions

Conviction of a drug crime can hurt your child’s future, and one of the leading ways to get caught is through drug testing. If your child participates in extracurricular activities, especially sports, they can be randomly drug tested in middle school and high school.

When the law was created, it was to stop the use of performance-enhancing drugs. However, today is it also used to catch students who may be using illegal recreational drugs. Your child could be suspended from the sports team, or it could go even further: arrest, suspension, or expulsion.

If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer to help you with legal representation for your child’s drug charges, contact us today. We can help you to ensure that your child gets the best possible legal outcome after a drug charge.