How can parents identify drug abuse in teens?
Drug Addiction Substance Abuse
Teen years are full of enthusiasm, anxiety, fears, and the process of growing up. Teens undergo puberty at this time which results in a cyclone of hormonal changes and fluctuating emotions in them. They are drawn towards the opposite sex, indulge in risky behavior such as fast driving and sex with multiple partners, and also want to try new and seemingly alluring things like alcohol and drugs.
However, decisions taken during this stage of life can impact the entire life of an individual. Alcohol and drugs if taken during teenage can become life-long habits and can affect every area of one’s life like career, relationships, finances, social life, and so on. Therefore, it is important that parents are watchful of their teens and look out for the signs of drug addiction so that timely intervention can be arranged. Here is a list of some of the most common symptoms that indicate drug abuse.
- Odd smelling teenager: While one might mistake it as a new deodorant, it could also be the smell of marijuana smoke. Parents must take the help of a friendly cop in smelling a sample. This would help them identify the smell faster.
- Drug paraphernalia: Each drug has a different paraphernalia. Some of these include rolled up thin and small paper tubes or notes (used for cocaine) and tin boxes (used for heroin). Burnt teaspoons and syringes could also be found. As a parent, one must sniff these articles to guess what was in them. If a parent feels that the smell is odd, then they should ask their teen about it.
- Rapidly declining grades – A teen focused on trying alcohol or drugs would definitely start losing their concentration in studies and this will easily reflect in their grades. A parent must be watchful of their kid’s grades and ask them the reason behind this decline.
- Glazed expressions – Consumption of alcohol or drugs might make a teen look disoriented and stoned. They may appear very distant and detached. This can be easily noticed and a teen must be probed about the same.
- Making new friends – Abandoning old friends and hanging out with new and suspicious friends could be a huge red flag as these new friends could be providing the teen with alcohol or drugs.
- Getting isolated – Abandoning social activities could also reflect that a teen wants to stay alone and not face anyone. This could be probably because they want to try drugs in privacy and not want anyone to know their intention or see them try it.
- Evasive responses – A teen when asked about his whereabouts might give an evasive response and this might become a pattern. While this could be due to dating, meeting new friends and trying drugs with them could also be the reason. Parents should be compassionate and empathetic when probing their teens so that they do not get offended and are more forthcoming in sharing the details.
- Behavioral changes – Behavioral changes also reflect that something is seriously wrong. Mood swings like behaving erratically and then behaving calmly could mean that they are using drugs.
- Memory problems – Repeated drug use could also lead to memory deficits. If your teen is forgetting the basic stuff, it might be signify their drug use. The most significant in this is lack of personal hygiene.
- Miscellaneous – Unexplained injuries, injection marks, items or money going missing around the house, rapid weight loss or weight gain, etc. could also reflect drug use.
Seeking help for drug addiction
Teens are at a stage of life when they do not want to miss out on anything and try everything, even at the expense of their physical and mental well-being. It is, therefore, critical that parents are watchful and guide them against using drugs and alcohol. If a parent does find that their teen is addicted to drugs or alcohol, then they need to deal with them gently, yet, firmly, so that they understand that substance use and abuse only spells failure.
If you know a teen addicted to drugs or alcohol, get in touch with ADEONA Healthcare. A leader in teen drug addiction treatment, ADEONA Healthcare of Rancho San Diego provides customized, research-backed treatment interventions in a safe and secure environment for teens aged 12-17. You can call our 24/7 drug addiction treatment helpline (888) 379-9360 to learn more about teen drug addiction in general. You can also chat online with our representative for more information about how we customize our drug addiction treatment programs for each of our teen patient to ensure lasting recovery.