Signs Your Teen Is Abusing Drugs or Alcohol

Wilmington drug and alcohol treatment centerTeenagers are known for being moody, emotional and irrational. It’s part of growing up. The physical and mental changes they go through can cause all kinds of ups and downs. So, it can be hard to determine if their behavior is part of the normal process of growing up or if it is a sign of drug or alcohol abuse. If you need a Wilmington drug and alcohol treatment center for your teenager, call Legacy Freedom. We can help.

With reports from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) showing 60 percent of high school seniors admitted to having been drunk at least once and 46 percent of them said they had used marijuana, the concern over teenagers using drugs or drinking is valid. Parents have every reason to be concerned that their teenager may be involved in drugs or underage drinking.

Adolescents are known for experimenting, but if their use exceeds one or two times, it can become a problem or lead to addiction.  It’s important for parents to be aware of the signs that their teenager may be drinking or using drugs. Here are a few:

- Doesn’t want to participate in activities he or she once enjoyed
- Asks for money more often but doesn’t say what it is for, or if you find money missing
- Major changes in appetite. Eats very little or appears to snack more after being alone for a while
- Changes in sleeping patterns – seems to sleep significantly more or less
- Clothes, car or bedroom smells of smoke or alcohol
- Uses heavy perfume, air freshener, candles or other things to mask the air in bedroom or car
- If it seems that over-the-counter or prescription medications are missing
- Changes in who he or she hangs out with, or is secretive about where he or she goes
- Unusual moodiness or outbursts for no reason
- Defensiveness when questioned about activities
- Acts withdrawn or spends a lot of time in his or her bedroom
- Has a loss of interest in school; grades begin slipping

Parents should also be on the lookout for drug paraphernalia found in their teen's room or cars including baggies, foil, rolling paper, small weights, syringes, empty bottles or pipes. If you notice they have started using eye drops or chewing gum or mints more often, it could also be a sign they’re hiding drug use.

If you suspect drug use, talk to your teen immediately. Share your observations and see if he is able to explain the unusual behavior. Enforce a zero tolerance policy and stick to it. Research has shown that teens do care what their parents think and will consider their expectations before making some decisions. If you have clear rules about what you expect, they may be more likely to consider the consequences before they drink or do drugs.

An involved parent is also a more informed parent. Make sure you know his or her schedule, friends and activities. Take time to talk to your teenager each week to catch up and really listen.

Wilmington Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center for Teens | Legacy Freedom

Is your family troubled because your teenager has a substance abuse problem? Call Legacy Freedom Treatment Center of Wilmington to speak with a counselor today. Our approach to recovery includes the family members of our patients because we know how important it is to have a support system when you’re struggling with something as traumatic as addiction. We are also an outpatient Wilmington drug and alcohol treatment center. This is so patients don’t have to be taken away from family during treatment. Family members can actively participate in private and group therapy sessions in order to learn coping and support skills. Call us today.

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