Teenagers often experiment with drugs and alcohol of various kinds. Whilst the word ‘drugs’ can blind us to the dangers of widely available products such as cough & cold medicines.

It is a sobering thought that virtually every substance abused by adults is also abused by adolescents.

While your teen is living in the family home and you still have parental responsibility, there are both legal and emotional reasons why you may need to consult an investigator, to ascertain if your ‘child’ is taking drugs.

From the outset our professional investigators will not invade your children’s right to privacy or intrude into their private lives.

Sensitive and discrete deployment of an investigator’s experience, investigative strategies and resources, mean you get the valuable information you need, without your teen ever being aware there was an investigation.

The foundation of any investigation is getting to the real facts which are then put together like a jigsaw, to provide concrete information.

You will then gain a superior position from which you can see clearly what has been going on, with this being based on reality and facts, rather than every loving parent’s worst fears.

From this vantage point you will then have the luxury of being able to make a quality informed decision, about how to best serve the long term health and well being interests of your child.

Families and lives can be ruined because a suspicious parent did not take the first bold step, of having an investigator verify their child’s substance abuse situation.

As in all such cases, there may be no evidence found of teenage drug involvement at all. The resulting relief and peace of mind would then be denied by failing to engage the services of an investigator.

You need to know and this is simply too important an issue to be left in the dark about.  Think of your investigator as a light you can shine into the darkest situation. They are a powerful ally who is working round the clock, to help you protect your child in ways outside the range of normal parental care and advice.

Substance abuse is such a serious life changing threat to the development of young adults, everything that can be done, should be done, to make sure your teen is safe.

Aside from all the medical and chemical dangers of drugs and alcohol, it should be remembered there is a greatly increased risk of physical accidents, rape, unsafe sex, violence and suicide associated with teens involved in substance abuse.

There are many statistics that can be quoted from a variety of involved and concerned agencies, but those collated by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) provide a snapshot of what is going on:

During the past month 26.4% of underage persons (ages12-20) used alcohol, with binge drinking among the same age group at 17.4% (SAMHSA).

Whilst 72% have consumed alcohol by the end of high school and more than a third (37%) have done so by eighth grade (NIDA).

In 2008, 56.2% of current underage drinkers (ages 12-20) reported that their use of alcohol occurred in someone else’s home, 29% reported that it occurred in their own home (SAMHSA).

In 2008 an estimated 20.1 million Americans ages 12 or older (8%) were current past month illicit drug users (SAMHSA).

If you believe your teen may be involved with some sort of substance abuse, this can sometimes be deduced by common indicators or factors such as those listed here:  Mood Swings,  Disappearance of money or possessions, Dishonesty regarding whereabouts, Poor Achievement (a drop in grades),

Early Cigarette Smoking and Mixing with undesirable friends.

If you recognise some of these symptoms as ‘normal teenage behaviour’ of teens definitely not involved with substance abuse; this just emphasises how difficult it is to rule out such things. You may engage the services of an investigator, as many do, to prove things one way or the other.

In all the various ways that it is usually counter-productive, to try and carry out your own unskilled inexperienced investigation, trying to follow teenagers especially your own is very unlikely to be successful. It can also get you into all kinds of unforeseen trouble, whatever your motivation.

Focus on what you need most in order to adequately protect your teen from a possible worsening drug involvement situation. Facts and accurate verified information are the key to knowing how to proceed. Your child is most at risk from making the wrong life changing decisions when they are a teenager, so a Professional Investigator is really the only way to set things right.

In order to investigate suspected teenage drug abuse, the Investigator is very well informed and acutely aware of every possible drug, your teenager may be exposed to; which can be listed under their classification headings as follows:

Date Rape / Club Drugs

Ecstasy, Ketamine, Rohypnol  a.k.a  “Roofies,” GHB, Chloral Hydrate.

Depressants.

Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Quaaludes.

Halucinogens

DMT, LSD, PCP, Peyote, Psilocybin.

a.k.a “mushrooms”, “acid”, “yellow sunshines”, “buttons” or “shrooms”.

Inhalants.

Gases, Glues, Aerosols. Inhaling gasoline or ammonia is often referred to as “huffing”.

Narcotics.

Codeine, Heroin, Morphine, Opium, Vicodin.

a.k.a  “Cody”,  “Schoolboy”, “Tango & Cash” or “Monkey”

Stimulants.

Amphetamines, Caffeine, Cocaine, Diet Pills, Methamphetamines, Ritalin.

Cough and cold medicines are often abused by teenagers, their parents having no idea what they are talking about when overheard. Popular names include “tussin”, “skittles”, “robo”, “triple C”, “dex syrup” and “red devils”.

The many common names for drugs can prevent parents who overhear a teenage conversation, from knowing what their child is talking about.

Starting with the most well known names for Cannabinoids: Cannabis, “Marijuana”, “joint”, “blunt”,” bong”, “backwood”,”pipe”,”weed”,”grass”.

When you consider that this brief summarized list barely includes a fraction of what is potentially available to teens and makes little mention of the hundreds of ‘street names’ by which these and more drugs are known in youth culture; you may start to see the magnitude of the problem you would face, trying to carry out your own amateur investigation.

If you heard your teen talking about ‘Cody’, ‘Tango & Cash’, or ‘Schoolboy’ you may not be aware that these innocent sounding terms, are in fact the street names for drugs that can kill your child. There are hundreds more examples and a Professional Investigator will be familiar through investigative experience with all of them. The question really is can you afford to not trust an investigator, with this crucial question about your teen’s development

The Three Stages of Substance Abuse

1.    USE.
Occasional drugs or alcohol use, which will not cause withdrawal symptoms and will not develop a ‘tolerance’ of the substance, so that more is taken to achieve the same effect.

2.    ABUSE.
With self knowledge that continued use is creating social, physical or psychological problems, the teenager continues to take drugs or alcohol.

3.    DEPENDANCE.

“The final stage of substance abuse, which can be prevented by early investigative intervention, involves long time periods when your teenager would be looking for, taking and then recovering from the effects of the substance.”

At the far end of cases that have already reached the dependence stage, there is still hope and options for the recovery of your teenager and their reintegration into school and normal life again.

This is provided by a progressive network of caring strategies which include: Outpatient Treatment, Residential Treatment Center, Therapeutic Boarding School, Wilderness Therapy Program and Residential Treatment School.

From my own experience, I have on many occasions met with parents to address their concerns and conducted surveillance. From this it was discovered that children were missing classes to do drugs on nearby vacant land and meeting drug dealers. Keeping teens safe is often about rescuing your child from the inevitable negative consequences of their actions. You cannot always do this yourselves with no professional help. The investigator has a vital role to play in preventing your child from sinking deeper into a downwards spiral of drugs or alcohol abuse.

Though they may be too young to understand now, the rest of your child’s life may depend on your decision to hire an investigator.

 Footnote:Youth>Alcohol>Driving>Death Statistics

In 2008, an estimated 12.4% of persons ages 12 or older drove under the influence of alcohol at least once during the past year.  The rate was highest among persons ages 21-25 (26.1%).
SAMHSANHTSA
In 2008, 11,773 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one third (32%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds. NHTSA

In the United States, the crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is 4 times the risk for older drivers. (IIHS – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2009)

Fifty-six percent (56%) of the fatal crashes and 57% of the fatalities involving young drivers occurred on rural roadways.
NHTSA

In 2007, 64% of young drivers in passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking were not wearing a safety belt.
NHTSA