While it seems that teen drug abuse is trending lower, the number of fatal opioid overdoses is on the rise. This, of course, has parents and professionals everywhere scared and concerned about the youth of today. Whether it’s because of a divorce, problems at school or even becoming part of a blended family, teenagers have problems they deal with and some of those lead to drug and substance abuse. That is also why it’s more important than ever for parents to know the early warning signs that point towards their teenagers having a drug abuse problem. With that being said, read on below for a few of the early warning signs you should look for.
One of the number one early warning signs of opioid addiction or any type of drug abuse is mood swings that go from one extreme to the other. If your teenager suddenly starts flipping out over little things or being verbally violent or abusive to other children in your household or even to you, then they may have a drug abuse problem that needs to be nipped in the bud right away. While a certain amount of moodiness is to be expected in any teenager, they are teenagers, after all, extreme swings are not normal and should be monitored.
Changes in the Way They Look
Sober living can lead to changes in the way your teen looks, but drug abuse changes them in ways that are highly noticeable. Below, see some of the signs you need to look for on the physical side of addiction.
- Red bloodshot eyes
- Weight loss or even weight gain that comes on suddenly
- Changes in how they care for their appearance, skipping showers, washing hair, etc.
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Cheeks that are flushed and red
- Always tired and drowsy
- Pupils that are widely dilated
While these can be symptoms of other problems, such as overstressing or not getting enough sleep, it’s best to watch your teenager carefully and get them help if it is needed.
Strong Behavioral Changes
One of the earliest warning signs is strong changes in your teenager’s behavior. If you notice that your teen no longer hangs out with their old friends and won’t bring their new friends around, that they have lost interest in activities they used to enjoy, and they have withdrawn from your family, then it’s time to start checking to see if they are using drugs. Sitting down and talking to your teen might help, however, don’t be above searching their belongings, because it only takes one overdose for them to be gone, and you will wish you had.
Their Grades Are Dropping
If your teen’s grades are dropping drastically and they have lost all interest in their studies, it may be time to sit down and have a talk. It could easily be that they are bored or just need a pep talk, but this is also an early warning sign of drug abuse as well.
These are just a few of the early warning signs to look for when you suspect your teen of doing drugs. Make sure to watch for them and please get them help somewhere if they are struggling.
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