Is Your Teen Using Drugs?

Parents are often worried or confused about changes in their teenager. It’s sometimes difficult to decipher typical adolescent behavior from what may be a result of drug use.

Here are some signs that your teen may be abusing drugs or alcohol:

  • Skipping class, declining grades, getting in trouble at school.
  • Loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise.
  • Acting isolated, silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
  • Clashes with family values and beliefs.
  • Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Preoccupation with alcohol and drug-related lifestyle in music, clothing and posters.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).

Remember that typical changes in adolescent behavior involve movement towards independence, cognitive changes, questioning sexuality, morals, values, and self direction. Simply seeing your teenager isolate and change their friends does not necessarily mean they are on drugs – it could just be a part of their normal development.

It is important to look at all aspects of your child’s behavior over a period of time. Is there a decline in grades, a change in friends, unexplained change in mood, and becoming secretive about new friends consistently within the past 3 months? If so, maybe it is time to start asking questions.

If you are concerned or confused, please call us for help. We’ll answer your questions, and let you know if we recommend a comprehensive substance abuse assessment. Please know we’re here to help.