Teens are especially vulnerable to drug abuse and addiction, because peer pressure and lack of understanding of the consequences can lead teens to go overboard with drinking and drugs. As a parent, you need to understand the warning signs and symptoms of drug abuse.
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms with your own child, or with your teen’s friends, you will want to approach the topic as quickly as possible. The sooner that your teen gets the treatment he or she needs, the better their chances are of long-term recovery.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Teen Drug Abuse?
- Your teen may experience physical health complications that are related to the drug that they are using and abusing. For example, if your child is using tobacco products, you may notice that their teeth are turning yellow and that their breath is foul. People who abuse depressants may be sleepy or clumsy all the time, and those who abuse narcotics may seem like they are too happy and may be very sleepy on a frequent basis. Every individual drug type has a range of physical symptoms that you should be aware of so that you can spot them in your own child.
- A sudden change in attitude or mood can indicate that drug abuse is a problem. This is different than noticing that your teenager is having a bad day or a typical mood swing. It is not normal for teens to swing from extreme highs to extreme lows, so if you notice this you should consider it a warning sign of a larger issue.
- Finding any type of suspected drug paraphernalia can be a warning sign. Items that can be used as drug paraphernalia include pipes, syringes, rolling paper, eyedroppers, medicine containers, or unusual containers that you did not have in your own home.
- If you notice that your teen has experienced a psychological episode, it could be a sign that your teen is using and abusing drugs. Examples of psychological episodes include extreme paranoia, disorientation and delusion.
- If your child is suddenly disinterested in things that they once loved, such as a sport or a hobby, you should be concerned. For instance, if your child has always loved playing a particular sport and suddenly has no interest in being on the team, you should explore why. This is often one of the first signs of addiction that parents will notice, especially if their child has recently adopted a new group of friends. Parents can reach out to school officials, teachers, counselors and coaches in order to find out more information about the change in behavior.
As a parent, it’s easy to try to brush off your concerns about your child and pretend that it’s nothing serious. But teen drug abuse is a large societal issue, and every young adult is susceptible to this lifestyle. If you notice even one of these warning signs, it is important to have a discussion with your teen and see if they may be abusing drugs.
Your child likely will not openly admit it, but it’s important to continue to monitor the situation and seek help quickly as soon as you feel it’s a problem. There are qualified recovery specialists at treatment centers across the country who work specifically with teen patients. Get your child the help that he or she needs today, and put them back on the right path toward a successful and fulfilling life.
To learn more about the signs and symptoms of teen drug use, give us a call at 877-466-0620. We can provide the help and support you need.