Raising teenage children is hard enough without having to deal with drug problems. If you suspect that your teenager is using drugs, your challenge has gotten much more difficult and complex. For starters, few teens will admit their drug use to their parents. If you’re concerned about whether your teen is using drugs but you can’t get a straight answer out of him or her, you should start looking for the 10 telltale signs of teen drug use.
Those ten signs are spread across three broad categories: your teen’s physical space, appearance and health, his or her behavior, and his or her psychological or mental condition. Given the stresses on your teen and the hormonal changes that he or she is experiencing, you’ll see some of these signs in him or her regardless of drug use. When you see many or all of these ten signs together, your concerns over whether your teen is using drug are more legitimate.
Changes in your teen’s physical appearance and overall health may be the most apparent signs of his or her drug use. First, are you seeing weight loss, nose bleeds or eye redness, changes in his or her clothes, or frequent headaches or nausea? Second, is he or she suddenly sleeping or eating less? Next, even if your teen may be big on body sprays or colognes, are you noticing even more excessive use of these sprays, as well as incense or room deodorizers? Teens will resort to aromatic products to mask the smell of marijuana smoke and other smoked substances.
Fourth, have you caught your teen with drug paraphernalia? Rolling papers and water pipes, even if there’s no drug residue in them, are clear signs of drug use. These things, like the drugs themselves, cost money, and missing cash from your purse or wallet is a fifth sign of drug use. Sixth, look carefully to see if your prescription medications are disappearing. Teens will scan your medicine cabinet for vicodin or oxycodone. You may not want to believe that your teen is stealing from you, but your money and prescription meds won’t disappear by themselves.
Your teen’s behavior can be more difficult to diagnose and understand because changing behavior is a common trait of all teens. The seventh and eighth signs of drug use are a sudden interest in privacy, and trouble at school. Even the cleanest, most drug-free teens will “act out” on occasion, but if your teen suddenly shuts you out of his or her life and shows more severe and more frequent discipline problems at school, you should pay more attention to your suspicions of whether he or she is using drugs.
You don’t need to be a licensed therapist to detect your teen’s psychological and mental issues. If you notice your teenaged child withdrawing from friends or forming new friendships with people that you don’t trust, or if he or she suddenly gets angry and abusive, your teen’s mental state may be changing for the worse on account of his or her drug use.
These tens signs aren’t conclusive or definitive, but are only a guideline that you can use when your parental radar tells you that something is wrong. Don’t ignore your instincts, but do pay attention to your teen and get professional help if your gut tells you that your teen is using drugs.
The professionals here at Treatment Now are always available for a consultation if you have questions about how to handle a teen drug problem.
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