Advertisement

What are some warning signs of teen substance use?

George Joseph
Addiction Medicine
Warning signs of teen substance abuse may include:

• Secrecy – all of a sudden it’s “not your business.” They want you out of their lives and will not discuss friends, things they buy, or things they are doing.

• Finding new interests in things that glamorize drug use – clothes, tattoos, music, and paraphernalia

• Increased need for privacy – locking doors, isolation, poor eye contact or communication

• Poor attendance at school. Grades drop and teachers report lack of attention or interest and increase in conflicts.
 
• Stealing money from parents, siblings or friends. Stealing items to sell or abuse, such as prescription or over-the-counter medications.

• Depression, increased need for sleep, withdrawn, isolated, distraught

• Sudden use of air fresheners or incense to mask the smell of smoke or drugs

• Increased use of perfumes or mouth wash and breath mints to cover up lingering odors

• Requests for eye drops or eye washes to reduce red eyes or dilated pupils

Know the signs of drug use. If you suspect that your teen is experimenting with drugs have him or her tested immediately. Don't second guess yourself. Time is of the essence and early detection is extremely important. Drug test can be purchased for home use or done professionally. If the test turns out positive seek professional help and set up random drug screenings. Below are some of the warning signs of drug use.

Know the Signs:

  • Poor Grades
  • Skipping School
  • Poor Hygiene
  • Change in Friends
  • Significant Mood Changes
  • Lying and Increased Secrecy and Suspicious Behavior
  • Pulling Away from the Family
  • Increased Defiance
  • Evidence of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Isolation - Spending More Time Alone and in Their Room

Resource:

Quiz - Is Your Teen Using Drugs?http://parentingteens.about.com/library/sp/quiz/druguse/bldrugscreentest.htm

Continue Learning about Substance Abuse and Addiction

Ask the Experts: Methods of Treating Opioid Use Disorder
Ask the Experts: Methods of Treating Opioid Use Disorder
Overdoses from opioid drugs are a leading cause of accidental deaths among Americans. Learn how support groups, medications that help alleviate opioid...
Read More
Why might a doctor hesitate to prescribe opioids to seniors?
Mercy HealthMercy Health
Doctors might hesitate to prescribe opioids to seniors for the following reasons:  When older peo...
More Answers
Why haven't I heard about older people and substance abuse?
Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhDBonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Probably for the same reasons you haven't heard about older people and (fill in the blank)!! It isn'...
More Answers
Can You Stop Addiction with Financial Incentives?
Can You Stop Addiction with Financial Incentives?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.