Signs of Teenage Substance Abuse

teenage substance abuse

Teenage substance abuse can be devastating to your child’s future and your family. Knowing what to look for and being pro-active will help you find the professional help you need to stop the drug use. When teens abuse drugs, the signs can be obvious and painful to see. However, paying attention and staying involved in your teens life might be the difference between a passing episode of drug abuse or full blown drug addiction.

Social Signs of Teen Drug Abuse

Drug use by teens causes a change in their social behavior. Your teen may become withdrawn and rebellious when abusing drugs. Your child may start hanging out with a different set of friends. When confronted about their drug use they may become defensive and argumentative. They lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed. Your child can become reclusive and secretive, leaving for days on end and not telling you where they have been. School work begins to suffer and grades fall. They may start getting into trouble at school because of the friends they are associating with. You may notice things missing from your house such as jewelry, electronic equipment, or anything of value that can be traded for drugs.

Physical Signs of Teenage Substance Abuse

The physical signs of teen drug use begins with lack of hygiene. Your child will go days without bathing and changing clothes. They will have a loss of appetite and may lose a considerable amount of weight in a short period of time. Drug abuse leads to sores on the skin and mouth, depending on the type drug. They will appear fatigued and tired. If your child is using drugs intravenously, you will see needle marks and blood spots on the sleeves of their clothes. Teens abusing drugs are at risk for blood borne diseases and STDs from the risky behavior associated with drug use. If your child is using intravenous drugs there is a serious risk of progression into full blown addiction.

Mental Signs of Teen Substance Abuse

The mental signs of teen drug use can involve mood swings and depression. Depending on the drug being abused, the mental signs vary. Meth abuse causes paranoia and involuntary movements of the body. Your child may be afraid someone is out to get them and think everyone is looking at them or talking about them. Heroin causes depression and apathy. Generally speaking, teens abusing drugs will show an obvious change in there mental state.

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