Parenting & Family Life

Teenage Substance Abuse : Signs and Symptoms

Teenage substance abuse is a growing problem among adolescents today. The sad fact is that if it goes unnoticed by adults, then the teen using has a great chance to be an addict in the future. When one becomes addicted to a substance, whether it’s alcohol, drugs or medications, it can lead to a lifelong struggle. There isn’t any recovered addict who doesn’t have weekly battles regarding whether or not to try it one more time. This is not the kind of struggle you want your child to deal with for the rest of his/her life. Therefore, look for the common signs and symptoms of teenage substance abuse listed below to determine if you need to get your teen help:

  • Change of Behavior – Generally teens abusing various substances will go through a significant behavioral change. For instance, your teen may have been a pretty laid back person who was easy to get along with, but now he’s on edge most of the time and argumentative. While that may not be the exact behavioral change your teen is exhibiting as it is just one type of behavioral change. The important thing to notice is if your teen has gone through a significant behavioral change.
  • Immediate Change of Friends – Another indicator that teenage substance abuse is going on is if your teen has stopped hanging out with a group of friends she’s had since childhood, or a long period of time. An immediate change in friendships is a good sign that something is going on with your teen.
  • Change in Grades – It’s difficult for teens abusing substances to maintain good grades. Therefore, if you know your teen usually has good grades, but they have dropped all of a sudden, you should investigate what’s distracting your teen.
  • Unusual Behavior – When teenage substance abuse is at work, teens will begin acting suspiciously. For instance, they may start answering questions vaguely while trying to avoid you. They may begin “disappearing” for short amounts of time throughout the day and try to conceal what they’re plans are when they go out on the weekends.
  • Odd Clothing Choices – While dressing in all black may seem odd to “old” people like us, this isn’t necessarily the type of odd clothing choices being referred to here. Basically, you need to watch for your teen dressing out-of-season. For instance, if he begins to wear only long sleeve shirts during the middle of the spring and summer, then you should be concerned. When odd clothing choices like this start to occur, your teen may be trying to hide something.