Adolescence can be a particularly difficult time. Changing social circles couple with hormonal changes and an exciting, but uncertain future to form one of the most stressful periods in a young person’s life. Teens in this period of their life are particularly susceptible to the temptations of drug and alcohol use as a way to cope with the stress as well as to feel accepted in their social circles. Though overall teen drug use has decreased in recent years, the severity of that abuse has increased and overdoses have risen as a result.

For those with a teenager in their life, it can be hard to spot the signs of abuse and know when regular adolescent behavior has transcended into something more concerning and dangerous. While you should always consult a trained professional before diagnosing another person or yourself, these early warning signs can help expose an issue before it grows out of hand.

  1. Loss of Interest in Activities: Drug abuse can severely alter the personality of the user and lead to a rapid disinterest in activities that one once enjoyed. If you’ve noticed your son or daughter turn away from previous passions or activities, it may be a sign of an underlying cause.
  2. Poor Hygiene: Teens aren’t known for their impeccable and regular hygiene routines, but if you’ve noticed a dramatic change in behavior, this could be an early indication. If your son or daughter who used to brush their teeth twice a day and keep their room spotless has suddenly abandoned these habits, these could be indicative of abuse.  
  3. Secretive Behavior: The opinions of their parents can have a huge impact on a child’s self-perception, from a young age through adulthood. No one likes disappointing their parents and teenagers can be exceptionally good at hiding the things they don’t want to admit to. Being aware of your sons or daughters behavior and maintaining an approachable demeanor can help teens open up and feel comfortable asking for help.
  4. Missing Curfew or Ditching School: Drug abuse tends to occur outside of the home as well as outside of the school where authorities keep an eye out for warning signs. In an attempt to hide their activities, teens tend to ditch school or come home later than their curfew. While missing curfew once or twice is likely not a cause for concern, habitual tardiness may be a cause for concern.
  5. Bad Grades: Drug abuse can wreak havoc on a young mind and severely impact a teens ability to focus and retain information. Other signs of drug abuse like a short attention span and inability to remember information all combine to affect a student’s performance at school and any sudden changes in grades or teacher feedback should raise a red flag.

If you believe your son or daughter may be suffering from drug abuse, Asana Recovery is here to help and answer any questions you may have. Recovery can be a difficult road, but you don’t need to travel it alone.