As teenagers grow and explore the world around them, they are going to encounter new experiences and people. Many of these new opportunities will be positive and help your teenager become a more adjusted person. But sometimes, teenagers will discover drugs and alcohols through their peers. If your child isn’t careful, they may soon find themselves suffering from an addiction that can have lifelong implications.
If you discover that your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol, get them help as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it is going to be to break that addiction. Be aware that not all addiction centers take people under the age of 18. Luckily, rehabilitation facilities like New Life House in Southern California accept teenage and adult men into their program.
Do you suspect that your teenager may be abusing drugs? Read on and we will cover you the most common signs of teen drug addiction.
1. Emotional Changes
Everyone knows that teenagers exhibit mood swings. But when under the influence of drugs and alcohol, these swings can become even more pronounced. Teenagers who act erratic or uncharacteristically aggressive may be acting this way because of drugs. If their temperament changes suddenly, either into excitably or depression, this could be a sign of substance abuse.
The brain is still developing during adolescence. This makes drug and alcohol abuse particularly dangerous during this developmental stage. Drugs can permanently alter cognitive abilities. Even alcohol can disrupt hormone cycles in women. It can affect their fertility as well as increase their chances of getting breast cancer.
2. Behavioral Changes
Drugs can make teenagers more restless, hyperactive, lethargic, and even apathetic. Loss of appetite and trouble sleeping are common signs of drug use. Teens on drugs often will create more strained relationships with their family members. They will exhibit secretive behavior, often staying out until late at night and staying inside their room when they are home.
Fearing that they might get caught, they may appear on edge and paranoid. They might also constantly ask for money and get extremely frustrated if the money is denied to them. During these years, it is important to be involved in your child’s life. Get to know the people they spend time with.
3. Changes at School and Home
Adolescents who start using drugs will often see a sharp decline in their grades and the quality of their schoolwork. This is because they are now spending more time focused on getting and doing drugs than on studying and excelling in class. They may start skipping school altogether.
Drugs often become a person’s sole priority. Under the influence of addiction, your teen let all other responsibilities fall to the wayside. This is one of the most destructive aspects of drugs and alcohol.
Be on the lookout for drug paraphernalia around the house and car. These items can include aluminum foil, small pipes, cellophane wrappers, small containers and baggies, and rolling papers. Also, monitor any prescription medications and alcohol you have in your home.
4. Hygiene Problems
Pretty much all drugs have at least some negative effect on the health and hygiene of the body. Look for physical signs such as burns on the lips and track marks on arms. Increased acne is also common. If your son or daughter is constantly itching, sniffling, or fidgeting, then they might also be using drugs. Many drugs also make the skin oily and leave one’s eyes looking bloodshot and tired.
Even the most careful and well-behaved children can become victims of drug addiction. For parents, it is important to provide a loving and supportive home and establish healthy relationships with your children.