Warning Signs Of Drug Abuse

1. Physical Signs Of A Substance Abuse Problem:
  • Loss of short term memory
  • Trouble stringing together simple sentences and slurred speech
  • Decrease in appetite and severe mood swings
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Active one minute and subdued the next
  • Inability to concentrate for even short periods of time
  • Dilated pupils
  • Serious changes in facial coloring
2. Emotional Signs Of A Substance Abuse Problem:
  • Highs and lows, a negative outlook on life
  • Loss of interest in all social activities even with close friends
  • Withdrawn, depressed, serious self-esteem issues
  • Happy one minute and angry the next
  • Fighting with family members and friends for no reason
  • Sleeps in all day after a night out with friends
  • Refusal to participate in school and family activities
  • Denies there is a substance abuse problem even after they’ve been caught with drugs in their possession
  • Promises to get help but then doesn’t follow through with those promises
3. Academic Problems:
  • Poor marks in school when grades used to be better
  • Cutting class, ditching school all together and having a general bad attitude about attendance
  • Being argumentative with their superiors
  • A total loss of interest in their studies and anything school related
4. Problems With Family, Friends And Relationships:
  • Is absent for family functions
  • Doesn’t make eye contact or engage at all with siblings
  • Spends most of his or her time in their room
  • Is at home less and less
  • Has a whole new set of friends and doesn’t talk to their old friends at all
  • Flakes out on plans all the time
5. Attitude At After School Job:
  • A no show for scheduled shifts or habitually late
  • Has an attitude toward authority at work, refuses to participate
  • Argues with customers, withdrawn
  • Blows through paychecks with nothing to show for it
6. Problems With The Law:
  • Never had a problem with the law before but now is constantly in trouble
  • The police have visited the home on more than one occasion
  • Lies about where they’ve been
  • Hangs out with known trouble makers
  • Has been accused of shoplifting and petty theft crimes
7. Caught With Drugs But Still Denies An Abuse Problem:
  • Comes home smelling like cigarettes and marijuana
  • Has been caught with cigarettes and other drug paraphernalia
  • Sleeps out at friend’s houses only to come home looking exhausted
  • Refuses to discuss possible drug use with close family or relatives
  • Money, credit cards and alcohol go missing but teen denies taking them
  • Teen shows up wasted or high but continues to deny said drug or alcohol abuse and gets overly hostile when confronted
  • displays scary behavior at times
If your teen displays only one or two of these signs that does not mean that he or she is on drugs. If your teen displays many of these signs don’t wait for things to continue to escalate, call a licensed interventionist to do an evaluation of your teen. Getting behind the problem early can make all the difference in putting an end to your teens substance abuse problem. Don’t wait until it’s too late; act now.

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