Do You Know if Your Teenager Has a Drug Addiction?

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Raising a teenager in America has become challenging. This is because, teenagers have become more exposed to the contemporary components of this world.

It has become more challenging to tell whether or not your teenager is using drugs, since many of the signs and symptoms of teen drug abuse are also at times typical adolescent behavior. However, there are unique telltale signs that can directly be attributed to drug and substance abuse.

The following are signs and symptoms of drug addiction in a teenager.

Physical and health signs

Teenagers suffering from drug addiction usually experience dramatic physical and health changes. Their physical health deteriorates due to different reasons associated with the abuse of drugs. Consequently, they become more careless about their personal appearance and their environment.

These signs are:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Clumsiness
  • Poor grooming and physical appearance
  • Blood shot eyes
  • Abnormally poor appetite and feeding habits
  • Unusual smell of sweat and breath
  • Dry, burnt or sooty lips and fingers
  • Unexplained frequent body injuries
  • Frequent seizures
  • Frequent nosebleeds associated with cocaine and meth
  • Frequent headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mouth sores
  • Runny nose and  common colds
  • Unexplained confusion
  • Extreme body temperatures
  • Skin break outs
  • Depression sign
  • Drastic changes in weight, mainly weight loss

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Behavioral signs

Behavioral changes in a drug addicted teenager are at times confused with general adolescent behavior. However, all parents have had the opportunity to study the behavior of their own children, and thus are able to tell a number of unusual characters which are regarded as red flags related to drug addiction.

They are:

  • Dramatic change of the entire social circle
  • Violence and hostility
  • Communication break down
  • Secretive and chronic dishonesty
  • Emotional instability and mood swings
  • Poor relationship with school mates and family members
  • Sluggish movements
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lack of self-control
  • Petty thefts
  • Poor financial management
  • General lack of responsibility
  • Frequent consumption of over the counter drugs
  • Sudden change of sleeping pattern
  • Slurred speech
  • Deterred focus
  • Hypersensitivity to situations

School-related signs

For any school going teenager consuming drugs, there are always conflicting emerging areas of concern. This may mean changes in behavior, performance and relations between them and the teachers or fellow students. The particular signs entail

  • Deteriorating academic performance
  • Decreasing interest in extracurricular activities and hobbies
  • Absenteeism from school
  • Loss of concentration in class
  • Failure to fulfil duties as assigned by the teachers
  • Rebellion
  • Reports of drug use in school

Environmental signs

In a place where there is a teenage drug addict, environmental changes could also give a hint to a parent. These changes may entail

  • Presence of drug wrappers, alcohol containers, cigarette filters, butane lighters, and aluminum foil among others.
  • Frequent disappearance of prescription drugs as well as over the counter drugs.
  • Disappearance of alcohol or cigarettes
  • Unusual smell of alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana in the car or in their bedrooms
  • Burning of incense to mask smells especially with marijuana users

Parents are encouraged to study the behavior of their teenagers time and again. They can also seek to team up with professionals such as pediatricians and psychologists to examine and monitor their child’s growth progress. This may assist in identifying any unusual characters that may be as a result of drug abuse.

Parents are also advised not to hesitate asking their children whether they are using any form of drugs, especially when they notice any dramatic change in them. While they may not wish to hear that their child is abusing drugs, it is important to be sure of their status so as to be able to assist them where necessary to ensure that they have a healthy future.


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