• Physical and health signs. Bloodshot eyes; pupils smaller or larger than normal; frequent nosebleeds; changes in appetite or sleep patterns; sudden weight loss or weight gain; deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance; and impaired or unstable coordination. • Behavioral signs. Skipping class and declining grades; loss of interest in extracurricular activities; acting isolated, silent or withdrawn; demanding more privacy and avoiding eye contact; and sudden change in relationships and friends. • Psychological warning signs. Sudden mood changes, irritability, angry outbursts or laughing at nothing; periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation; lack of motivation and inability to focus; appearing fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid for no apparent reason.While schools and other agencies may provide some help, ultimately it’s up to the parents to address a teen’s drug problem, McCarty says. “All evidence suggests that preventing drug abuse starts at home,” he says. “It’s not someone else’s responsibility. It’s the person who has the problem and their family who need to deal with it. That’s why if you test your kid for drugs at home, you want to make sure you’re getting their results and aren’t letting them fool you.”
About Dr. Matt McCarty, M.D.Dr. Matt McCarty is a board certified, fellowship trained physician specializing in chronic pain management. Aware of the growing need for medication monitoring and personalized medicine, he founded Genotox Laboratories , a rapidly growing national reference lab providing medication monitoring services through urine drug screen confirmations and pharmacogenomics testing. He believes that earlier and better monitoring by all physicians prescribing controlled substances could lead to lower rates of addiction, diversion and overdose deaths. With his team at Genotox he invented a patent pending DNA authenticated sample matching method called ToxProtect™. It ensures urine submitted for drug testing is matched to a specific donor. ToxProtect™ uncovers the use of substitute and synthetic urine and detects substance misuse, abuse and relapse when all other urine drug testing fails. He hopes that through the most advanced genomic testing platform offered by Genotox, a clinician can uncover substance misuse abuse and relapse allowing for earlier intervention.