Teen drug use continues to be a growing social issue, but many parents have no idea how widespread teen substance use is. Drug use is a slippery slope. Once a teen tries drugs, they can quickly develop a substance use disorder that requires professional drug abuse treatment. However, when you know the signs of teen drug use, you can intervene and get your teen the help they need before it’s too late.
If your teen is using drugs, it’s essential to act quickly. Call 866.300.5275 for more information on the substance use treatment program for teenage boys at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery.
Common Signs of Teen Drug Use
The teenage years come with unique challenges for teens and parents alike. Changing hormones and an increased desire for independence lead to occasional tensions in every family. Parents often wonder which behaviors are normal and which are cause for concern. Below are some common signs of teen drug use that every parent should know to watch for.
The physical signs of teen drug use are often the first thing that makes a parent wonder if their teen is using drugs. Some physical changes to watch for that may indicate drug use include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Pupils larger or smaller than normal
- Weight loss
- Slow, labored breathing
- Slurred speech
Physical signs can depend on the type of drugs the teen used, which is why they can vary widely.
Drug use also inevitably brings about behavioral changes, especially when a teen has been using drugs for a while. Common behavioral changes to watch for include:
- New friend groups
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Academic issues such as poor attendance and failing grades
- Changes to sleeping and eating patterns
- Emotional changes
- Rule-breaking behavior
- Secretive behavior
It can be hard to distinguish some of these signs from normal teen behavior. However, if your teen is showing several of the above signs, especially in conjunction with the physical symptoms, it strongly indicates that drug use may be occurring.
Other Warning Signs
Parents should also be aware of other telltale signs of teen drug use. Additional warning signs you can watch for include:
- Drug paraphernalia such as pipes, syringes, bent spoons, or empty pill bottles
- Foil or plastic with burn marks or residue
- Requests for money
- Missing cash
- Missing prescription medications
These signs can all indicate that your teen is using drugs.
Why Do Teens Start Using Drugs?
Every parent dealing with teenage drug use has the same question: Why do teens start using drugs? Teens use drugs for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common are social environment and mental health.
Peer pressure is a significant element of teen drug use. If your teen’s friends are experimenting with drugs, your teen is more likely to do so as well. The desire to fit in and for their peers to see them as cool is often a motivating factor.
Teens also live in a world in which music, television, movies, and social media feeds often celebrate drug use. The entertainment industry and social media normalize the idea of using drugs and can make teens perceive drug use as normal or beneficial.
Mental health concerns also contribute to whether a teen develops a dependence on drugs. Teens might use drugs to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery Can Help Teens Recover
Teen drug use can have devastating effects on mental, emotional, and physical health. Teens using drugs face risks that include overdose, a lifelong struggle with substance use disorder, failing academics, and difficulty with interpersonal relationships.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery offers substance use disorder treatment that can meet adolescent boys’ unique needs. With the proper intervention, it’s possible to help your teen get off drugs and back on track to a promising future. Call us at 866.300.5275 for more information on the teen substance use treatment programs at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery.