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Warning Signs Of Teen Drug Abuse That You Shouldn't Ignore

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

Teen drug abuse is a major problem that can negatively affect their health and future. More often than not, teens try out drugs as a form of experimentation, and with time, they may get addicted to them. And to save your teen from the risks associated with drug abuse, it's important that you keep an eye out for warning signs. Identifying them early and conducting teen addiction treatment can help save your child from negative consequences.

Signs Of Drug Addiction In Teens.

There are several signs that teens exhibit when they are into drugs. Unfortunately, parents often tend to brush these off as teenage behavior. But, as parents, it's important to watch out for one or more of the following signs and symptoms.

Behavioral Changes.

Sudden noticeable changes in your teen’s habits and behavior may be a sign of drug abuse. Of course, such changes may also be a part of growing up. However, you need to worry if your teen does the following:

  • Appears withdrawn from family

  • Steals money (might be for buying drugs)

  • Starts sneaking out

  • Shows poor performance in school

  • Exhibits a lack of balance or coordination

  • Avoids eye contact

  • Suddenly changes their friend circle

Secretive Behavior.

Secretive Behavior

If your kid is acting secretive all of a sudden, they may be trying to hide the fact that they are taking drugs from you. For example, they may start using their phone secretively, often suddenly putting it away when you are around. Or, they may come up with random excuses for going out while avoiding questions about their whereabouts.

You also need to be concerned if they have suddenly started locking the door of their room for the major part of the day or show hostile behavior if you show the intent of going into their rooms.

Changes In Physical Appearance.

Keeping an eye on your child’s appearance is perhaps the easiest way of identifying drug abuse. Some common symptoms of drug abuse include:

  • Poor personal hygiene

  • Bloodshot eyes

  • Frequent nosebleeds or runny nose

  • Puffy or flushed face

  • Track marks or bruising on the legs or arms

  • Sudden weight loss or gain

Health Changes.

While falling sick is quite normal for children, if your child’s sickness is accompanied by bunking classes or sneaking out secretly, it might be the effect of drug abuse. You should be concerned if your teen shows the following signs:

  • Constant sickness

  • Feelings of lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Slurred speech

  • Complains of headaches

  • Has seizures

  • Sudden vomiting

  • Clumsiness

Mood Fluctuations.

teens Mood Fluctuations

While teens do go through mood changes while growing up, sudden fluctuations are what you need to watch out for. For example, if your child is acting irritably, is getting more violent, or resorting to threats or verbal abuse, there might be a problem.

How To Approach This Problem?

If you suspect that your child is using drugs, you need to approach this issue with caution. Here is how you can deal with this problem.

Try Talking To Them.

The first step should be to sit down and try to talk to them. Instead of accusing them, try calmly asking them about their usage of drugs. You need to be ready to hear their confession without reacting negatively, otherwise, they may withdraw further and continue drug abuse, this time trying to make it less obvious.

Make Them Aware Of The Risks.

Young adult counseling can help if your teen isn't yet addicted to drugs but only trying it out due to peer pressure. Make them aware of the potential harm such substances can cause to their mental and physical health. At the same time, encourage them to make positive changes in their lifestyle. The key here is to build trust and let them know that you are always there for them so that they don't hesitate before sharing their feelings with you.

Seek Professional Help.

In case your teen is addicted to drugs, it's best to seek professional teen addiction treatment. You can opt for in-home family intervention programs to strengthen family bonding while also helping them get over their addiction.

Summing Up.

Identifying signs of drug abuse in time is crucial in saving your teen from being addicted to these harmful substances. But, not all parents are able to handle this issue in the right manner. And that's where we can help. At Higher Grounds, we know the right way of approaching your teen to help them get over their addictions. Get in touch with us to avail our affordable in-home counseling and other services. Currently serving the beach cities areas, Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo Beach, and now Pasadena.


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