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Is my teen using drugs?

MomandTeenSigns Your Teen May Be Using Drugs

Do you suspect that your teen is using drugs and/or alcohol?  It’s more common than you might think to pass off the signs of drug or alcohol abuse as just typical teen behavior.

As a parent, you want to trust your child and hope that they make the right choices.  But sometimes the most trusting parents are also the ones that are easiest to take advantage of.

So how can you tell if your child might be using drugs or alcohol?  The following are some signs to look for.

Changes in behavior
Look for changes in your child’s behavior.  Here are some examples…

  • “Hides” in room all day
  • Silence
  • Makes excuses
  • Violent outbursts at home
  • Reckless
  • Hostile towards family members
  • Violates curfew
  • Disrespectful attitude
  • Sneaky, lying or deceptive
  • No care or concern for the families rules
  • No care for consequences
  • Over tired or hyperactive

Trouble at school
Look for trouble at school.  Examples may include…

  • Falling grades
  • Change in friends
  • Skipping or missing school
  • Loss of interest in healthy activities
  • Lack of motivation
  • Fighting

Changes in appearance
Look for changes in your child’s physical state.  Examples may include…

  • Unexplained weight drop or gain
  • Slurred speech
  • Neglected appearance/hygiene
  • Glassy or red eyes and frequent use of eye wash
  • Skin abrasions

Changes in Emotions
Look for changes in your child’s emotions.  Examples may include…

  • Depressed or moody
  • On edge
  • Stops activities he/she used to enjoy
  • No concern for future

Other signs to look for:

  • Valuables missing
  • Possessing unexplained valuables
  • Stealing or borrowing money
  • Liquor, beer or wine missing
  • Prescription drugs missing

Now what?
Communication is key. It is important to talk to your teen about drug use, not only if you feel they may be taking drugs, but as a preventative measure.  99% of teens will say “no” when they’re asked if they are using drugs.  So you shouldn’t take “no” for the absolute answer.

The truth is that if your child exhibits any of the signs and symptoms and is disrupting your home life, it might be time to go and talk with a counselor who can help restore family order and happiness–even if it turns out that they aren’t using drugs.

And if you feel that your child might be using–don’t wait to get help.  Our family counselors will help you talk to your child and help your child and your families’ recovery.  Please contact Horizon Health Services today.  We have many families throughout Western New York in addiction recovery.

This article was developed to include some of the warning signs of teenage drug use. It is not meant to be the only parenting tool you use when dealing with street drug use and your teenager.

Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.