How to Spot Early Warning Signs of Drug Abuse in Teens

Adolescence is a difficult time of life, and sadly, some teenagers turn to drugs to help them cope with them. The thought that your child is abusing drugs or alcohol is a scary one, but you can help put a stop to the problem in your home before it gets out of hand by paying attention to some of these early warning signs.

Look Them in the Eyes

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Someone who has recently used drugs such as marijuana might have bloodshot and heavy-lidded eyes. They may also have dilated pupils and difficulty focusing on anything if they’ve been drinking alcohol. If you suspect that your teen has a problem with drugs and alcohol, look them in the eyes the next time the come home late, especially if they’ve been with friends. If they have glazed, red, tired-looking eyes that aren’t focusing on anything, it’s possible that they’ve been using some kind of drug.

Behavioral Changes

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A lot of teenagers are moody and irritable every once in a while, so the occasional angry outburst or depressive episode in your teen probably isn’t cause for alarm. On the other hand, if you notice a significant change in their behavior, you should probably watch them closely. If they’ve been more irritable or more lethargic than normal, there may be a problem that needs to be addressed, whether it is drug-related or not. You should also watch for things such as breaking curfew, skipping school or work, staying out late, a change in their social circle, or a sudden inability to manage their money. All of these are indicators that there is a substance abuse problem, especially if you notice several of them at once.

Being Secretive

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All teenagers should be entitled to their privacy, but some are definitely more private than others. If your teen has suddenly gotten into the habit of going out without telling anybody where they are going or who they will be with, or they’ve gotten into the habit of locking the door to their room, they might be trying to hide something. You may want to search their room if you truly believe that they have a problem and won’t own up to it, but you should also tread very lightly if it comes to that. You don’t want to betray your child’s trust. Speak to your child about your concerns before you turn their room upside down, and make it very clear that you’re trying to help them.

Getting Help

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If it turns out that your teen does have a problem with drugs and alcohol, there is help available. Contact a drug abuse clinic like Brightside Clinic for more information. If you don’t know of any in your area, speak to your family doctor. They should be able to provide you with some resources.

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