how to know if your teen is doing drugs

A very commonly asked question of a parent with a struggling teen is How Do You Know if Your Teen is on Drugs?

As a parent to a teen living in Los Angeles, you need to be attentive and sensitive towards your adolescent, especially during their teenage years. This is a transitional phase for your child, and it is also the time when they start establishing their own identity. However, this is also a dangerous phase in their life where they might get into difficult situations and meet temptations that they cannot escape. Teenage drug addiction is a real problem and a truly disheartening one. With the rise of teenage drug addiction, luckily there are many Los Angeles teen addiction treatment options available, but how do you know if your teen is on drugs? Parents need to be attentive to the early warning signs and be willing to seek the help necessary to keep their teens out of harm’s way. It’s not a time for you to scrutinize their every activity but to be sensitive and sensible of the demands put on them during these formative years. Continue reading to learn the changes and how to spot early warning signs that your teen may be on drugs.

Behavior Changes

One of the clearest indications of drug use in teenagers is behavioral change. If you notice your child is avoiding normal activities that were previously enjoyed and establishing new habits that were not present before, it might be a warning sign. Many people do not pay close attention to these signs as they might seem like isolated events. If you see emotional changes along with behavioral changes, it’s time to take notice of the changes and investigate the causes.

One of the most noticeable signs of teenage drug abuse is a big change in their appetite. It can go either way where they’re eating a lot more than normal, or they might also display a loss of appetite, which is extremely worrying. You may also find that your teen is mingling with a different group of friends and isolating those who you knew as their best friends. Your teen may begin to perform poorly in class, and the teacher may suddenly report misbehavior.

Behavior Becomes Secretive

While it is normal for teenagers in Los Angeles to become a little distant from their parents during these years, it is important for you to tell the difference between what is normal and not. If your child is already introverted, you might see that they are becoming more aloof. If your child had an outgoing personality and loved to chatter and share information about life with you, becoming secretive is a warning sign. You might find that your child is not following deadlines and disappearing for long periods of time. They do not want to answer your questions pertaining to their whereabouts or are not interested in talking to you. They might keep their bedroom door locked for long periods of time. They might start showing disinterest in extracurricular activities that they loved previously. If you find your child is constantly avoiding eye contact with you, lying about their whereabouts, or keeping secrets from you, it is time to ask some direct questions.

Changes in Physical Appearance

Drug use often causes significant changes in physical appearance. The effects may vary depending on the drug they are taking, but there are some common changes you might come across.
  • Your child may show up with bloodshot eyes.
  • They might start losing weight and have a sickly appearance.
  • You find wounds, needle marks, bruises, and burns on their arms that you cannot otherwise explain.
  • They constantly have flushed cheeks.
  • If your child starts wearing long-sleeves on even the hottest days, they might be hiding something.
  • You may find soot or burns on the lips or fingers.
  • You might find yellow residue on their index finger.
  • Their lips may appear to be brown.
  • They start to care less about their hygiene and have an overall disheveled appearance.
  • If you see them having tremors or shaking for no apparent reason.
  • If they have a constant cough or a runny nose without having a cold.
  • They might have an unusual smell in their clothes or breath. You might also find them chewing gum or using large quantities of mouthwash to mask this smell.
  • You might find them constantly licking their lips.

Changes Around their Room

There are some rather obvious signs that something is wrong with your child. This might include finding a hidden stock of alcohol or drugs in the room or even in their backpack. You might come across accessories that are usually accompanied by drugs such as syringes, lighters, eye drops, or even smoking devices. The presence of unknown containers and wrappers might also be a telltale sign. You might notice some prescription drugs missing from your house or the levels of alcohol dropping significantly.

Providing Support

So, how do you know if your teen is on drugs? If you have suspicions that your teen is using alcohol or any other drug, the best thing you can do is ask them directly instead of accusing them. This is one of the most successful ways of showing your teen that you love and support them, which opens the door for discussion. If you find that your suspicion is right, there are several great facilities where you can take your teen to get them the help they need. At Key Healthcare, we provide mental health treatment for teens, teen drug treatment, mentoring, teen IOP and teen sober living to adolescents so that they feel empowered enough to change their habits. It is important to understand that something is bothering them. With the help of counseling, teenage drug addiction treatment methods, and other therapeutic methods, teen drug addiction can be fixed, and they can start living a healthy, productive life. It all starts with a phone call, and family support. Contact us today.