Signs of Substance Abuse in Teens & Young Adults

Signs of Teen Drug & Substance AbuseHigh school and young adulthood are difficult enough as it is with the normal pressures of school and friends. With drugs in the mix, life becomes even more of a struggle. While the signs of drug use can be extreme, it may be difficult to distinguish some symptoms from those regularly experienced as the highs and lows of being a teenager. If you suspect that your teen is showing one or more of the symptoms of substance abuse it is important that you seek help rather than ignoring the problem. We also suggest that parents trust their gut, if you think that your child may have been abusing substances, bring him or her in for a free evaluation. To learn more about the signs of teen substance abuse and the treatment options available, contact one of our Missouri drug rehab centers today in St. Louis, Kansas City, or Columbia.

Sudden Changes as Indicators of Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Many teens struggle in school at one point or another. Even the brightest kids can lose focus due to an unbalanced social life or a traumatic emotional event such as a break-up. One or two low test grades may not be a sign of drug use. However, if there is a sudden and ongoing decline in grades, it could be a sign of drug or alcohol abuse. Other changes related to school may include a sudden disinterest in extracurricular activities or a sudden change in friends.

Many drugs affect basic mental and physical functions. Therefore, any sudden and persistent change in sleep patterns or appetite may be a sign of substance abuse such as heroin addiction or meth addiction. Some other signs and indicators of drug abuse in teens and young adults include an overall drop in hygiene and personal appearance, blatant disregard for household rules, isolation from the family while at home, constant requests for money, and trouble with the law.

Noticeable Physical and Mental Changes

In addition to sudden changes in behavior and interests, there are several emotional and physical changes that can be signs of drug and alcohol use in teens. These include:

  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Constant dark circles under the eyes
  • Wearing long sleeves even in summer
  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Change in mood or demeanor
  • Extreme sleep patterns
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Blood-shot eyes
  • Constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Overly rapid speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Strange smells
  • Hallucinations

Consider All Factors Before Ruling Out Substance Abuse

Signs of Substance Abuse in TeensBecause many of the physical signs of drug use such as changed sleep patterns and trouble in school can be related to other emotional problems in a young adult’s life, many parents who are frightened by the possibility of their teen succumbing to substance abuse will write off these warning signs as part of the struggles of high school. However, if these symptoms are combined with other factors such as teens constantly asking to borrow money without being able to account for where it was spent or issues with the family, one must be wary of a drug problem.

When it comes to alcohol and drug abuse, problems can quickly spiral out of control. Therefore, if you suspect issues or recognize signs of alcohol or drug abuse in your child, you should contact our drug rehab centers as soon as possible for help. Our staff are experts in the problems faced by teens and know when to intervene to end substance abuse. In Kansas City, Columbia, or St. Louis, Missouri, contact us today to learn how we can help.