5 Warning Signs Your Teen May Have Substance Abuse Issues

5 warning signs your teen may have substance abuse issues.

substance abuse issues

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Many factors have attributed to the rise of substance abuse among teens, especially those undergoing adolescence since they are at that period where they are easily influenced and want to try everything. When your child begins abusing drugs, there are always signs they tend to exhibit before it becomes a serious issue. So here are 5 warning signs your teen may have substance abuse issues.

Behavioral changes

By default, whenever your child begins substance abuse, they tend to have a complete makeover in their behavior to accommodate their new routine. It is a very common behavior for teenagers to be very secretive. Still, immediately after they start abusing drugs, they tend to be more secretive and portray a very shifty behavior. When your child begins breaking their curfew, avoiding eye contact, and being so defensive when questioned, you must keep an eye on them. 

There are other behavioral changes that you should be aware of, such as locking doors whenever they enter a room, acting secretive when using their mobile phone, constant chewing of gum, especially the mint flavored ones, and the long period of sleeplessness that precedes bursts of energy then followed by long sleep and they often become very clumsy. It is important to note that behavioral changes aren’t just limited to the home front but also at school. 

Whenever your child starts substance abuse, their grades and overall output at school always drop, and they start getting into trouble with their teachers and other students. Whenever you can suggest a sit down with your child or even suggest that they visit a counselor.

Poor hygiene and a change in their appearance

Whenever your child begins substance abuse, their overall hygiene standards seem to fall since they tend to spend most of their time being worn out, and most of them tend to portray a don’t care attitude. If you begin noticing that your child’s eyes are always red and have rack marks all over their arms and legs, you should heed that as a warning and react immediately. 

Other changes in appearance and hygiene include burns and soot on their lips and fingers, their breath and clothes tend to have unusual smells, and their rooms are always messier than usual. The change in hygiene and appearance is predominantly influenced by the substance they are abusing.

Personality change

Before your child starts abusing drugs and other substances, there is always an underlying reason that pushes them to substance abuse. When children are in their teens, it is usually at that time that they are very impressionable, and they always want to fit in. An example is if your child is the submissive and obedient kind and wants to fit in, they happen to be very open to trying different things to impress their friends, such as challenging authority, being hostile, hyperactive, deceitful, and angry. 

They might portray a sudden loss of inhibitions. This personality change should be a clear indication, and you should try to get to the bottom of it before they become habitual users. An example of the most abused substance is alcohol which is the most common choice. If your teen has been abusing alcohol, it would help to find a rehab center that can help with alcohol detox and all the support you need

Health problems

It has always been that health problems are always present whenever substance abuse is happening. Most teenagers want to try almost all substances they can lay their hands on. Some of these substances may react very negatively to them. If suddenly your child begins exhibiting symptoms like seizures, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sore spots around the mouth, slurred or quick-fire speeches, being lazy, constantly experiencing tiredness, and experiencing nosebleeds or runny noses even if they aren’t allergic or have got no signs of a cold, then you must get to the root cause of the problem since it may be a clear sign of drug and substance abuse.

Psychological changes

Since most abused substances are psychotropic, they tend to affect an individual’s moods, hence offering a clear sign of substance abuse. Suppose you start noticing that your child experiences mood swings, memory problems, lack of concentration, high self-esteem, especially in fields you know they lack any interest in, and being manipulative; you must accept the possibility that your child might be experimenting with substance abuse. 

It is crucial that whenever you notice a change in them, never shame them or make them feel worthless; instead, find common ground or a reasonable way to handle or deal with the said change.

Closing thoughts

It would be best if you were open with teenagers whenever you are raising or looking after teenagers. Always be ready to answer any questions they might have since you won’t want them to seek answers for themselves. It is also very crucial to be involved in your child’s life.

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