10 Signs That Your Teen Is Using Drugs

Did you know that over 75% of teens aged 16-17 report that obtaining marijuana is "easy or fairly easy?" Or that 25% of youths between 12 and 17 say the same of crack?

When children start using drugs they usually exhibit many different signs that parents need to watch out for. Unfortunately, many parents often write-off these signs as normal adolescent behavior and as a result they don't realize that their child is into drugs until it is too late. How can you as a parent know for sure whether or not your child is in danger of falling into drugs? Know that every child is in danger of this. Parents who fail to recognize this will stay in this state of denial till their son or daughter is arrested or overdoses -- and by then it is too late. So what should you as parents be looking for as signs that your child is experimenting with drugs or alcohol?

* Dramatic changes in attitude or personality.
* New friends who may exert peer pressure on your child.
* Problems at school, such as falling grades or increased tardiness.
* Increased withdrawal, depression, or secretiveness.
* Changes in sleep patterns.
* Increased or decreased appetite.
* Dilated, red, or glossy eyes.
* Escalating verbal or physical abuse. * Dramatic mood swings.
* Need for additional money.

Drug use can lead to a host of significant health, social, learning and behavioral problems at a crucial time in a young person's development. Getting high also impairs judgment, leading to risky decision making on issues like sex, criminal activity or riding with someone who is driving high.

If you believe that your child may be using alcohol or drugs, don't overreact. Some of the warning signs listed above may be normal for your teen and some signs may have other causes. One cannot ignore the reality of teenage drug and alcohol abuse, however, so the presence of three or more of these warning signs should prompt a discussion with your teen and an evaluation of whether professional help is needed. For more advice, or to locate the right treatment facility for you, contact your pediatrician or call the Center for Substance Abuse Referral Help line at 1-800-662-HELP.

Nicole Brownfield
I hope you found this article both informative and enjoyable. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments at: [email protected]

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