Teen Drug Abuse: Spotting the Signs

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teenagers are being introduced to substance use as early as age 13. With this exposure, there is a likelihood your child will feel pressured to partake in substance abuse and may at some point try alcohol and other substances (e.g. marijuana, opioids, hallucinogens, etc.) because their friends are doing it.

Many teens don’t recreationally use these substances expecting to develop a substance abuse problem, but there are negative affects of substance abuse that can cause addiction. In most cases, addicts are unable to distinguish the point where they went from “casual” or recreational drug use to full-blown addiction. The sooner you are able to recognize your child is abusing alcohol and or other substances, the sooner you can seek help and resolve the problem.

Teen Drug Abuse: Know the Signs

One of the first signs of teen drug abuse are the effects on the addict. As the disease progresses, the individual beings to experience the aftereffects of using, known as a “hangover.” These aftereffects will prevail and worsen during sober time. In only a short period of time, the hangover turns into a constant feeling of unwellness or sickness. To aid these physical feelings, the individual will use more frequently and in higher dosages.

Addiction is also known to cause a growing lack of drive and disinterest in activities or hobbies that the individual once found interesting or entertaining. Additionally, they may become antisocial and become less worried about their physical appearance and hygiene. Substances alter your neurochemical levels, so feelings of depression, sadness, emptiness, aggravation, and anxiety are common.

Because substance abuse alters behavior and other personal aspects, family, friend and intimate relationships are affected due to a general lack of disinterest. Addicts inadvertently become distant and will no longer actively participate in these relationships, and there can be a loss of closeness. With this emotional distance comes dishonesty, poor choices, and desperation.

An individual struggling with addiction will be dishonest about what he or she is doing, where they’re going, if they’re using, etc. On top of that, in times of desperation, an addict can and will do anything to get their next high – even if that means stealing.

Addiction is an all-consuming disease that causes the individual to act out of character. Other signs to look for are a decrease in grades at school, loss of job, and legal trouble.

Find Addiction Treatment for Teen Drug Abuse

Once you’ve recognized that your teen is struggling with addiction, it’s time to consider the different types of treatment that are available and choose the most effective program for their individual needs. Determining the proper level of care and program begins with assessing your teen’s history of substance abuse: How long have they been using? Which substance are the dependent upon? Will this be their first time in treatment? Is there a history of substance abuse in the family?

Types of treatment include detox programs, inpatient rehab, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient, and outpatient care.

Need Help?

If you or someone you love would benefit from learning more about the recovery process or discussing treatment options, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. Our team of recovery specialists and intake coordinators help those in need find the treatments that will allow them to regain their health and independence. For a free consultation and assessment, call us today. Don’t let the disease of addiction claim another life.

Staff Writer :