Updated on October 2, 2020
Sometimes it is difficult to tell if your teen is using drugs and/or alcohol. If you’re observant though, there are several telltale signs that can help indicate that your teen is in need of help.
There is not just one type of sign that you should look for to tell if your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, there are several. These signs can range from physical symptoms such as fatigue or a lasting cough to social, where your teen is hanging out with a new “rougher” crowd or has suddenly changed the way he or she dresses. This post will examine the different types of warning signs to keep your eye open for while raising your troubled teenager.
Physical Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
The physical signs are sometimes the most obvious symptoms that your teen is using drugs and alcohol. If when your teen comes home, they have red and/or glazed eyes, is always tired, has repeated health complaints and a lasting cough, your teen may be abusing a drug. The signs are not necessarily always negative, as uncontrollable bouts of laughter are a sign of marijuana use.
Emotional Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
There are several emotional signs that your teenager is abusing drugs or alcohol. If your teen is experiencing a complete personality change, or sudden mood changes, these are usually indications of a deeper issue that may require immediate attention. Other changes in your teen that may indicate drug use would change their judgment, depression, general malaise and an overall lack of interest.
Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse from School
Changes in your teen’s performance at school can also indicate the presence of a deeper issue such as drug and alcohol use and abuse. If your son or daughter used to have good grades, and is now barely scraping by, it’s best to find out what is at the root of this problem. This can also be accompanied by a newfound negative attitude, decreased interest, absences and discipline problems.
Social Problems that Indicate Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Changes in your teen’s group of friends can be a warning sign of a major issue, especially if these friends seem to be steering your teenager in a dangerous direction. This new social circle can also result in changes in your teen’s dress or style of music they listen to. If their clothing or new favorite band has thinly veiled drug references, you may want to take a closer look.
All of these warning signs are by no means definite, but can be used as indications of a underlying problem that may not be visible on the surface. Most of the time your teen isn’t going to come right out and admit they are having problems with drugs or alcohol, so you may need to do some investigating. If you find your teen does have a drug and/or alcohol problem and you feel as though you’ve done all you can do, it may be time to look into a therapeutic boarding school. With this option, you know your child is in the capable hands of a professional who has been specifically trained to handle these types of problems.