10 Signs Your Teen is Using Drugs

Raising a teenager is tough work and, despite your best efforts, there may come a day when you suspect that your teen is using drugs.  There are a number of reasons you may suspect your teen has a substance abuse problem.  Perhaps you read a disturbing text or overheard your teen having a conversation about drugs.  Whatever reason you may have for suspecting drug use, there are a few signs to watch for.

1. Drastic Changes in Appearance

Perhaps the biggest indicator of drug abuse can be seen in your teenager’s appearance.  Sudden weight loss, a drastic change in how a teen dresses or a sudden affinity for sunglasses may indicate drug use.  

2. Altered Eating and Sleeping Habits

Watch for insomnia and a sudden lack of appetite.  Both can be indicators that substance abuse is happening.

3.  Change in Attitude

A normally mild mannered teen can become an angry and confrontational person if drugs are in the picture.

4. Withdrawal and Decreased Interactions with Friends

Old friends may not be supportive of a new drug habit so your teen may suddenly start hanging around with new friends.  A teen using drugs may also become reclusive, preferring to shut themselves into their room and not interact with friends and family.  Keep an eye on social media outlets like Facebook to see who your teen is hanging out with.

5. Secrecy Regarding Activities, Interactions and conversations that have coded language

A teen who is using is going to become very secretive about what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with.  By monitoring their activities and staying involved, you may be able to catch your teen in a lie that indicates drug use.  Paying careful attention to your teen’s activities may allow you to catch trouble before it gets out of hand.

6. The Use of incense, room deodorizer, or excessive perfumes/colognes to mask the smell of smoke

The smell of smoking pills and marijuana is distinctive so the use of a different scent may be an indicator of drug abuse.

7.  Trouble at School

Failing grades, a sudden drop in attendance and disciplinary issues at school may indicate drug use.  

8.  Missing Medications

A teenager who may not have the funds to buy drugs may raid a medicine cabinet in search of any medication that may supply the next high.  Always be informed on what is in your medicine cabinet.  Narcotics like Vicodin, Xanax, and Oxycodone are the most likely medications to be missing.

9.  Missing Money

It may not be noticeable at first.  A missing $20 or you’re short the $5 you thought you had.  Eventually, the frequency that the money turns up missing will alert you that something is amiss.

10.  Drug Paraphernalia

The biggest indicator that there may be substance abuse happening is the finding of drug paraphernalia.  Pill baggies, pipes, rolling papers and empty bottles are just a few things that may be found.

If you believe your child is using drugs, you should immediately seek help.  Talking to your child about the dangers of drug addiction is imperative.  Keep yourself informed by talking to friends, counselors and teachers so that if there is an issue, you can immediately address it.  Drug use is on the rise and being informed is one way to protect yourself and your family.


Published on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 18:54
By Addiction Recovery