Is Your Teen Hiding Their Substance Abuse?
There are over 7,800 new users of illicit drugs, daily. Over half of those new users are minors. Marijuana, over-the-counter, prescription, ecstasy, and cocaine are among the most popular drugs teens use – but how are parents getting in front of their teen’s drug use before it starts?
TeenSafe, one of the most popular parental monitoring services, wants to empower parents with the tools to monitor and manage a child’s online activity in order to help know when they need to open a dialogue and start a conversation, before their activities lead to serious problems.
Below is a roundup of signs your teen may be hiding drug or alcohol abuse.
7 Signs your teens is hiding or abusing drugs or alcohol:
1. Suddenly messy or unkempt appearance – A teen abusing substances may suddenly become messy or unkempt, have poor hygiene, or have unexplained marks or burns
2. Separate social groups – Teens are more likely to do drugs in social situations. The introduction of drugs or alcohol also often comes with new friends, separate social groups, or the loss of old friends
3. Sudden drop in grades – If your teen’s abuse has led to addiction, it can also impact their academic performance, including increased truancy, sudden drops in grades, or loss of interest in extracurricular activities
4. Unexplained income – Dealing with drugs can lead to dealing drugs. Be on the lookout for unexplained income, cash flow problems, increased requests for money, or signs of theft
5. Dramatic weight loss or gain – Signs that substance abuse is impacting your teen’s health include dramatic weight loss or gain, erratic sleep schedule, slurred or unintelligible speech, and clumsiness or lack of balance
6. Altered emotional state – Drugs and alcohol don’t just affect a child’s physical health. It also alters their mental and psychological well-being, causing rapid mood swings, loss of inhibitions, loss of focus, and hyperactivity
7. Abrupt personality change – Perhaps the most worrisome sign is that substances can create changes in the core personality of your teen. If your teen has developed secretive behavior, the tendency to lie, or depression, it may be time to seek help
If you believe your teen is struggling with substance abuse, seek help through a local therapist. If you have exhausted your local resources and it doesn’t seem to be helping, please contact us for options in residential therapy. There are programs that will accept PPO insurance and IEPs as a portion of their tuition.