It’s not groundbreaking news that the teenage can be one of the most difficult periods of one’s life. The lives of millions of teens experience physical, mental, and emotional growth. But not every teenager handles this growth in the same way. And not every parent of a teenager knows exactly how to cope with during this difficult time, especially if that teen seems to be dealing with drug abuse issues. To know whether or not your teen may be at risk for teenage drug problems, below are the warning signs of drug abuse in teens to see.
What’s the difference between drug dependence and drug abuse, and are they connected? It is not easy to tell when your teen crosses the line from drug abuse into a full-blown addiction. Addiction doesn’t start overnight. It takes time to build up a tolerance and develop cravings for the drug. Drug abuse often starts first. Though at its worst it can look like addiction, there is one key characteristic that makes drug dependence different
Here are the Warning Signs of Drug abuse in Teens
- Unexplained injuries
- Their breath or body smells of alcohol or marijuana
- Drug/ Alcohol abuse
- Distancing themselves, especially from friends
- Feel sad and low
- Seeming confused at times
- Any sudden extreme change of behaviour
- Unexplained mood swings and behaviour
- Becomes argumentative and negative
- Becomes anxious
- Overreacts to criticism
- Does not share personal problems like before
- Constantly tired or hyperactive
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
As stated above, these signs of drug abuse in teens could mean anything, but a combination of them should be a big red flag, so you could be a parent need to take account of the situation. There can be various reasons as to why your teen may be trying drugs, it could be due to health issue or simply for experimenting also. You should not ignore them. Not talking about it to your child openly, may further encourage him or her to continue to do so. Instead, talk to your teen about his drug use and then ensure that you seek professional help to assist your teen in overcoming his drug abuse or could be addiction.
Usually, all that the sufferer needs is a loving person to say that everything will be okay. Even if they deny the claim, it is often because they are embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it. Maybe the suspect was someone you knew and they are afraid that you won’t take their side. Offer yourself as an ear without judgement.
Teenage Drug Problems – Let not your teen go through this!
Apart from the fact that drugs can alter brain chemistry and structure, illicit drug use among teenagers can increase vulnerability to motor crashes and stimulate risky sexual behaviour. Additionally, drug abuse increases suicidal tendencies, assaults, symptoms of mental health conditions and dropout rate at schools.
Illicit drug use also entails legal and social consequences, such as an increase in incidents of violence, criminal activities and neglect, as well as a higher likelihood of abusing drugs in later life. In addition, teenage girls who continue engaging in drugs are at risk of harming the fetus and themselves in many ways.