The teen years are already tumultuous with school, dating, extracurricular activities, and social events, not to mention self-esteem and self-worth issues. Emotional, physical, hormonal, and psychological changes are also taking place and can be overwhelming for teens to navigate through. This is also the time when many teens start taking risks, and that includes trying drugs and alcohol.
Continue to discover the four things to look for concerning addiction in teenagers.
Warning Signs Your Teen is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol
While it’s not so easy to pinpoint some warning signs in particular drugs, there are some visible signs to look out for when addiction is developing or has developed.
It may be confusing to watch for signs of behavior changes that aren’t just normal for the teen years, but you know your teenager, so if the following occurs, it could be concerning. These changes include:
- Acting secretive or isolated
- Poor school performance
- Changing friends or social circles
- Increase in privacy
- Illegal behavior
- Missing school or extracurricular activities
- Unexplained disappearances
- Anger and hostility
Keep in mind; these psychological changes could be normal for this age group, so watch for changes outside of the typical patterns that could be indicative of addictive behavior.
- Poor concentration
- Memory problems
- Slurred or rapid speech
- Low energy levels
- Frequent mood swings
- Manipulative behavior
- Fear or paranoia
- Extreme shifts in energy
Changes in Health
Physical growth or being active in sports can alter teen’s health, but some of these symptoms may correlate with drug or alcohol use.
- Being sick more frequently
- Erratic sleep schedule (sleeping too much or not enough, or alternating between the two)
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Coordination problems
Changes in Appearance
Throughout a teen’s years, it’s quite reasonable for them to experiment with different appearances, sometimes even dramatically, depending on the type of social circle they’re engaged in — which is all normal. However, these telltale signs of addiction are easy to spot.
- Visible track marks
- Wearing long sleeves in warm weather
- Bruises, cuts, and sores
- Unusual odor
- Bloodshot eyes
- Continually scratching
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Poor hygiene
- Pinpoint pupils
When you can verify or have your teen come clean about their addiction, you may wonder about rehab. Substance abuse disorders come in many forms, with even some occurring with a mental health disorder that could have triggered the abuse in the first place. It’s important to understand there is not just one cure for addiction. In the case of teens and young adults, it’s essential to find a recovery program that provides an effective treatment plan that includes teaching critical life skills after rehab.
When an addict is treated holistically (mind, body, and spirit), it’s much more effective in the long-run and helps prevent relapse.
Males and females are different; therefore, it’s integral that they are treated differently in addiction recovery. It’s every rehab center’s goal to ensure individuals feel comfortable and safe in their environment as they go through the addiction recovery process. This is why there are gender-specific treatment programs that target both males and females and their unique traits and characteristics. People are more likely to open up and talk about their challenges when with their sex, especially in cases of sexual abuse.
Think Your Teen is Addicted?
If your teen shows some or many of these signs mentioned above, the first step is becoming educated about addiction and learning methods of treatment. At Ardu Recovery Center, we listen to your concerns and devise a plan to help your teen get the help they need. Our compassionate and supportive staff are experienced in caring for teens who are going through detox and recovery. Please, reach out and give us a call. You are not alone in your concern for your child. We can help. Contact us today.