Thursday, May 23, 2024

Signs Of Addiction In Teens

What Are Substance Abuse And Addiction

Internet addiction disorder affecting toddlers | 60 Minutes Australia

The difference between substance abuse and addiction is very slight. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine.

You can abuse a drug without having an addiction. For example, just because Sara smoked pot a few times doesn’t mean that she has an addiction, but it does mean that she’s abusing a drug and that could lead to an addiction.

People can get addicted to all sorts of substances. When we think of addiction, we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. But people become addicted to medicines, cigarettes, even glue.

Some substances are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user loses control.

Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. Someone who’s addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the drug that he or she has to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.

Common Drugs That Teens Abuse

The drugs most commonly abused by teens arent much different from those abused by adults. But the reasons for abuse may be different, as teens often abuse a substance based on its accessibility. Teens are also more likely to take excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol because of how they perceive the risks and dangers associated with use.

How To Know If Your Teen Is Using Alcohol Or Drugs

After youre familiar with the common teenage drug abuse signs, you need to know the tactics to prevent full-blown drug addiction.

  • Use your sense of smell: Have a face-to-face conversation when your child returns home after spending time with friends. The smell of their breath or clothes will tell you whether theyve been smoking or drinking.
  • Look at their eyes: Look at your childs eyes after they come home. If theyve used marijuana, theyll have constricted pupils and red eyes. If theyve consumed too much alcohol, their pupils wont focus.
  • Look out for mood swings: If your child becomes loud and laughs hysterically without reason or is clumsy, stumbling onto walls and tripping on furniture, then you need to act fast. These are signs of substance abuse.
  • Watch out for deceit: Keep an eye on fishy weekend plans. If your teen becomes vague about outings or they cant come home at the right time, something is wrong, and you must take prompt action.

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How To Prevent Teen Drug And Alcohol Abuse

While it may seem that you have little control of your child’s actions, there are some strategies you can use to help your teen make better decisions, including:

  • Start early. Beginning in the ages well before drug use begins, set clear expectations for your child’s behaviors including rules that are non-negotiable with clear and consistent consequences
  • Communicate clearly, but without high levels of negative emotion
  • Take positive interest in your child’s activities
  • Talk with your child about the dangers of substance use and encourage open communication
  • Get to know your child’s friends and their parents
  • Have a clear rule that your child is to check in with you on their whereabouts
  • Keep all prescription drugs out of easily accessible places
  • Set a good example by not overindulging in alcohol or using drugs yourself
  • Offer support and encouragement when your child is dealing with academic or social issues, times of transition or other major life events

Prevention begins with talking to your kids about substance abuse. If you’re not sure about the questions to ask or ways to help your child resist peer pressure, there are experts who can help you.

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  • National Institute for Mental Health. . The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction. Retrieved March 11, 2014
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. . DrugFacts: Nationwide Trends. Retrieved March 11, 2014
  • SAMA Foundation. . The Effect of Drugs on the Adolescent Brain. Retrieved on March 1, 2014

Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: February 22, 2019

David Hampton

  • A survivor of addiction himself, David Hampton is a Certified Professional Recovery Coach and a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors .

  • National Institute for Mental Health. . The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction. Retrieved March 11, 2014
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. . DrugFacts: Nationwide Trends. Retrieved March 11, 2014
  • SAMA Foundation. . The Effect of Drugs on the Adolescent Brain. Retrieved on March 1, 2014

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Cell Phone Addiction=more Than Talking

Teenage cell phone addiction goes well beyond texting and talking. It includes apps, games, and, in particular, social media. For teens, cell phones have become a way to comment and criticize, approve and admire. They are not always communicating with friends. Often, they are commenting on their activities. They are checking for likes and responses to their own posts.Theres a biological component to this behavior. The brain reacts to the cell phone as if it were a drug. Studies have shown that both the phone ringing and the alert of a new text cause the brain to release dopamine.

What could be a benefit has descended into an obsession for many teens. Take the smartphone app Snapchata photo-sharing service. It boasts that teenagers use the app more than 18 times a day.

Ten Facts About Teen Alcohol And Drug Abuse

  • Some teens are at higher risk due to genetics, the age when they start using, and socioeconomic circumstances .
  • Casual drug use can lead to abuse and addiction, causing health issues, financial problems and legal trouble.
  • Today’s marijuana is much stronger than it was in the past, making it more dangerous. And yes, marijuana is addictive.
  • Many teens with addiction also have a co-occurring mental health disorder.
  • A teenager’s brain is much more susceptible to addiction because it is still developing.
  • Addiction, whether in a teenager or adult, is a disease. It is not a moral failing. Focus on the behavior, not the person.
  • As a caregiver or parent, remind yourself: you did not cause it, you cannot control it and it cannot be cured. Addiction can, however, be managed over the course of a lifetime just like any other chronic disease, like diabetes or hypertension.
  • The best prevention is to talk with your kids. Spend time with them, and let them know what your expectations are, what the rules are and what the consequences are if they break the rules. Check in regularly.
  • Vaping rates, whether nicotine or THC, have increased tremendously in the last few years among teens. Vaping is not harmless.
  • Addiction treatment works lives can be restored.
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    Know The Signs And Seek Treatment

    If you have observed escalating symptoms, dont wait for things to get worse. Problems at school, heightened secrecy and behavioral problems rarely improve on their own. Many people believe that their son must hit rock bottom in order for intervention to be effective in reality, this could not be further from the truth. Research shows that early intervention generates the best outcomes for those misusing drugs and alcohol early in life.

    As a parent, its hard to fully understand what our teens are going through. What appears to be experimental substance use in this critical period can transform into a full-blown addiction later in life. We encourage concerned parents to seek evidence-based, clinically sophisticated treatment from an accredited facility like ARCH Academy.

    We know you may have questions about addiction, treatment and academics. To learn more about the recovery process followed here at ARCH Academy, please contact our Admissions office. Our helpful staff members will walk you through everything you need to know before getting started.

    Is It Getting Better

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    The good news is that according to the 2018 Monitoring the Future Survey, teenage drug abuse, aside from marijuana use, is at its lowest level in over two decades.2 Among 12th graders, past-year use of illicit drugs other than marijuana has declined by 30 percent since 2013. According to the survey, substances at historically low levels of use among teenagers include cigarettes, alcohol, heroin, prescription opioids, meth, sedatives and ketamine.

    The bad news, many teenagers are still abusing drugs, including more than 12% of high school seniors. We will explore the signs of drug use in teens, including risk factors for teenage drug abuse, signs of teen addiction, and what parents can do if they believe their child is abusing drugs.

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    Physical Signs Of Substance Use In Teenagers

    Here are common physical differences from drug or alcohol abuse:


    What do your teens eyes look like? Are you seeing dilated pupils? Or reddened or bloodshot eyeballs? Parents should always start to check eyes and breath when teens arrive home.


    Is your teens walk a little unsteady?


    Is your teens speech mannerisms excitable or slurred?


    Is your teen coming home and not eating and going straight to sleep? This is a definite sign of drug use.

    Body injuries

    Drug use could be involved if you notice your teen has a bruise or cut, and he isnt sure how it happened or doesnt want to tell you.

    These are among the common behavior traits that experts have found in teenagers who are using drugs and alcohol. Its crucial for parents to be aware of these changes, and to have discussions with their teen to learn whats going on, and to stay on top of the new friends that the kid is making. Keep a close eye if these new activities start suddenly, or if they are all occurring around the same time.

    Lack Of Interest In Hobbies

    A sudden lack of interest in hobbies or friendships that have developed over years can be a clear sign that something is changing. Substance abuse often takes away from other hobbies or interests because the individual begins focusing on the drug.

    According to Psych Central, teenagers may become withdrawn from friends and family after abusing drugs. They may not show the same level of interest in sports, hobbies or activities that they previously enjoyed. Furthermore, they may become isolated from the family. Dr. Phil states that isolation is a clear warning sign of a problem, even if it is not substance abuse. Parents should not ignore sudden changes to a teenagers behavior or interest in hobbies.

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    What Kinds Of Behaviors Or Symptoms Could Indicate Teen Drug Abuse Or Substance Abuse

    Behavioral signs of drug use or substance abuse include:

    • Avoiding eye contact
    • Isolating from others/damaging relationships with family or friends
    • Withdrawing from classroom participation/slipping in grades
    • Resisting discipline or feedback
    • Losing interest in hobbies or activities
    • Abandoning long-time friends

    Physical indicators of possible substance use or abuse include:

    • Poor hygiene/change in appearance
    • Frequent runny nose or nosebleeds
    • Paranoia, irritability, anxiety, fidgeting
    • Changes in mood or attitude
    • Difficulty staying on task/staying focused
    • Small track marks on arms or legs
    • Pupils larger or smaller than usual
    • Cold, sweaty palms or shaking hands
    • Extremely tired or extremely hyperactive
    • Rapid weight gain or loss

    Signs Your Teen Is Using Drugs That Need Addiction Treatment

    Teen drug abuse

    Teenagers can abuse drugs or alcohol at any age. Whenever a teenager is behaving oddly or there are signs your teen is using drugs, parents should always look further or consider a treatment program. Addiction can be very dangerous, but treatment options are available that can improve the chances of recovering. Even if a teenager has started abusing drugs, it is never too late to start a treatment program and encourage a healthier lifestyle.

    Destinations for Teens specializes in addiction treatment for all the various substances your teen has used or misused. If you see signs your teen is using drugs, take advantage of our treatment for:

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    Tip #: Know Their Friends

    Being involved in your teens life also means knowing who they hang out with. This doesnt mean prying into your childs life or violating their privacy instead, it means knowing their friends, inviting them over, and conversing with the friends parents to feel secure about their influence in your childs life.

    Warning Signs For Drug Addiction In Teens

    Something is not quite right. I dont know this person my child has become. This seems like something besides normal teenaged rebellion. These are some of the things you might be saying to yourself if your teenager is abusing drugs.

    Your teen might even be fully addicted to a variety of drugs, having hidden the signs for longer than you may know. Keeping an eye out for some of the warning signs can help identify a drug problem, so you can find help for your child.

    For more advice about teen addiction and rehab options, call .

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    Getting Sick More Often

    Kids get sick its all a part of growing up. You come into contact with new, foreign viruses and bacteria and you catch the common cold, the flu, or chickenpox. Some of us may have even tangoed with an even more dangerous illness like pneumonia or malaria. However, if it seems your child is constantly sick and theres no medical reason for it, it might not be illness: it might be a hangover, or other ill effect of substance abuse.

    Does your child always seem to need to stay home the day after a missed curfew or other unexplained lapse in time? Are they lethargic and cranky? Sensitive to sunlight and prone to bringing breakfast back up? Dont those sound like classic symptoms of a hangover? Dont rule that option out completely just because your child is underage, especially if you keep alcohol on hand or it is available at someone elses house for consumption. These symptoms are also fairly common across all substances for withdrawal, which can occur after any amount of drug use. If your child seems to continuously exhibit these symptoms, take the steps necessary to investigate their source.

    If you suspect your teen is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, Safe Landing is here to help.

    Effects Of Substance Abuse On Youths

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    The negative effects of drug abuse in teens permeate all aspects of an adolescents life. Family relationships and peer friendships, academics and career planning, physical and mental health are all severely underminedif not devastatedby teen drug abuse. Brain functioning and development may be disrupted, affecting executive function and cognitive ability.

    Research on teens and drug abuse shows the lifelong effects of substance abuse on youths. Teens with untreated substance use disorders will go on to experience higher rates of physical illness, poorer overall health and well-being, and greater risk for addiction later in life. Thats why doing careful research and choosing the highest-quality teen rehab treatment is crucial.

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    The Side Effects Of Prescription Drugs Include:

    • lack of coordination

    What makes matters worse is that prescription drugs are not supposed to be taken recreationally like other kinds of drugs. They are specifically meant to treat a certain ailment, whether it be pain or psychological.

    Doctors have to analyze a patient and do a proper background test to ensure what they are prescribing will benefit the patient. If other people are taking the patients prescribed drugs, that will cause even more detrimental problems. Their bodies may not react well to the effects or the amount of dosage that is prescribed. It can easily cause someone other than the patient to overdose if they want to take it recreationally.

    Addiction to prescription drugs can happen quickly, and doctors do their best to make sure the patient understands this. But that information can get lost or not reach another person who wants to take the drugs.

    When a teenager undergoes these side effects, it will hinder their school performance and personal life. They will be so occupied at the thought of using drugs that everything they are supposed to be responsible for wont be fulfilled. This lack of responsibility will eventually cause more strain between a teenager and their parents. Unfortunately, a parent may think that some of these side effects might be typical teen behavior, which will make matters worse.

    Signs Of Prescription Drug Abuse In Teens

    Every parent needs to look out for the signs of prescription drug abuse in their teenager. The health side effects have already been mentioned in the previous section. However, this section will discuss the behavioral signs to look out for.

    One of those signs briefly mentioned is that they will stop fulfilling their daily responsibilities. They may stop doing their homework, stop attending class, and stop doing their chores around the house.

    An addict may want to avoid their parents, and they will become more isolated staying inside their rooms often. They may display extreme acts of being pleasant one day, usually due to being high, then another day, they are hostile.

    An addicts behavior may get so bad that they steal drugs or money to pay for drugs, eventually getting in trouble with the law. This also extends to looking out for the signs in their group of friends as well.

    If you recognize these signs in your teenager, it is important that any confrontation is met with empathy. It is normal for a parent to feel upset and angry, but shouting or yelling at your teenager will only make matters worse.

    This is the philosophy of any kind of addiction. Remember, there is a reason why your teen is using in the first place, and that reason is associated with problems in their own lives. It is also best not to jump to conclusions.

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