Parents, are you aware enough to spot a drug abuse habit in your child?

Dr. Susan Smolenski, who heads the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, says parents have to keep their eyes open.

Smolenski urges parents and caregivers to keep a close watch on who your children are hanging out with. Is it someone new?

If you see little packets and they say, “Oh, this is just my herbal tea”– you need to be suspicious.

And don’t be afraid to assert your parental authority, said Smolenski, who recalls attending a forum when her children were in school where she heard someone suggest, bring out the mortgage payment … and say, “Look, is your name here on this mortgage statement? No! My name is here. I own the house. While I own it (and) until you have your own house, you have no rights. I can go into your room. I can go into your backpack. That’s it.”

The Poison Control Center has a list of commonly abused drugs on its website at You can also call 1-800-222-1212 and speak with a Poison Control specialist 24/7. There is also now an iTunes app called PoisonHelp.

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