Know the Signs of Drug Use

Are you noticing some behavioral differences in your teenager? Sure, teens can be known for moodiness and other behavioral changes as they turn the corner from adolescence into growing into their own person. Just make sure that you are not dismissing early warning signs of drug use or teenage drinking. Find out more information here on the signs of drug use, teenage drinking and what substance abuse treatment is available, before you make a determination about your teen’s behavior.

Parents and teachers alike must pay attention to behavioral changes in teens. Behavioral changes can be precursors to everything from serious mental health problems to substance abuse. As adults, we are sometimes left in the dark about the day to day events in our children’s lives, but there is a line between meddling and being perceptive.

Some classic signs of teenage drinking and substance abuse are:

  • A sudden or drastic change in friends (hanging out with a very different crowd)
  • Missing school without approval
  • Leaving the house without permission or parental knowledge
  • Decline in academic performance and grades
  • Mood changes
  • Decline in physical appearance (poor hygiene, dirty clothing)
  • Money or valuables are missing from your home, purse or wallet
  • Aggressive outbursts
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of Motivation
  • An overall sense of something not being right

Parents or teachers, if you have noticed these changes in a teenager you care about, as difficult as it may seem to believe, the youth is showing you common symptoms of teenage drinking or substance abuse. The good news is that once you have learned how to successfully identify the signs of drug use, you can do something about it when you see it. Once you know that substance abuse is the likely motivation behind the teen’s symptoms, it is time to formulate a plan on finding the right substance abuse treatment for your teenager.

When it comes to substance abuse treatment, there are many programs offering a variety of treatment settings and styles while utilizing basic substance abuse treatment principles. Often times the methods of treating substance abuse are similar, but the delivery of the message is slightly different. Finding the right treatment setting may take some time. Do not lose hope, because just as each individual learns differently, everyone recovers differently, too. Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing a substance abuse treatment center.

Some teenage drinking and substance abuse treatment program options are:

  • Individual counseling
  • Educational groups
  • Family counseling & education
  • Recreational activities
  • Team building
  • 12-Step education
  • Relapse prevention
  • Residential  programs
  • Outpatient programs

Now that you are aware of the signs of drug use and teenage drinking, addressing the situation is crucial. Before you confront your teenager about his or her potential substance abuse problem, explore the substance abuse treatment options above by contacting a professional in your area and formulating a plan of action to help your teen. Just knowing that you have the support, knowledge and experience of a trained professional substance abuse counselor behind you will give you the confidence to confront the problem and remedy it before it’s too late.