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Teen Drug Abuse: Warning Signs You Should Look For

Press Release

Do you worry that your teenage child has been abusing drugs? If so, are not alone. Each year thousands of children become victim to teen drug abuse and it’s a nationwide problem that everyone should be concerned with. In today’s world, there are so many different types of drugs out there and they are easy to get which makes the drug problem even worse. Not only are street drugs such as heroin and cocaine readily available, but so are many prescription pain pills.

When you look at teen drug abuse stats, the numbers are staggering. Prescription pain pills, the same ones we use after getting a tooth pulled or having surgery, are being abused by our children. In fact, more teens die from prescription overdose than heroin and cocaine combined. As a parent, spotting the warning signs of drug abuse can be difficult. That’s why today, we are going to learn about them. We will also provide advice on what you can do if your child is showing these signs.

A Sudden Change in Personality

One of the leading signs of drug abuse in teens is a personality change. If you notice your teenage son or daughter isn’t acting like themselves, it could be a sign of drug abuse. While all teens go through rough patches, there are some signs that you need to be concerned with. If your normally calm child starts acting aggressive towards you and others, it could be an indicator that something is not right. Having a lack of self-control and not being able to control their temper can be associated with drugs. Also, low productivity in school along with failing grades is another sign that might mean your child is using drugs. Many parents write off these changes in personality as growing pains but these are often the first signs of teen drug abuse.

Wild Mood Swings

Teenagers often have mood swings. This is part of growing up and because parents overlook mood swings, drug abuse goes undetected. If your child is showing signs of wild mood swings that are combined with irrational and dramatic actions, he or she may be a victim of teen drug abuse. Just like changes in personality, mood swings should send up a red flag. Your child may even become verbally abusive, become violent or even destroy property during these mood swings. Dealing with these issues can not only be difficult but heartbreaking to parents.


Depression is another sign of drug abuse in teens. The same drugs that can make you euphoric and happy can also cause depression. Many addicts are always chasing that first high which is impossible to recreate and most fall into deep depression. Although depression can be caused by drug abuse, it may already be present. Teens and even adults that are suffering from depression will often turn to drugs as a way of self-medicating. So, if you notice your teen is suffering from depression, it’s time to do something about it! Even mild depression can be an issue and turn into something much worse. Drug abuse has been directly linked to teen suicide rates and your child is at a greater risk if they are abusing drugs.

Physical Changes

Not all signs of drug abuse in teens are related to emotions and personality. There can also be many physical signs of drug abuse. Sadly, these signs often come after a teenager has become completely addicted to drugs. As we all know, our eyes are the windows to our souls and if you notice your child’s eyes are bloodshot along with widely dilated pupils, they may be using drugs. Another sign that is very common with teen drug abuse is sudden weight loss. While this can be a sign of an illness, it’s very prevalent in those who are abusing drugs. Teens may also have the shakes and tremors when they can’t find drugs or run out of money to feed their addiction. These are signs of withdrawal and can be very dangerous. A few more signs may include fatigue, frequent nose bleeds, and flushed cheeks. If you notice these signs, it is time to do something about them and get help for your child.

How to Prevent Teenage Drug Abuse

As a parent, there are things that you can do to help prevent teenage drug abuse. When your child becomes a teenager, often they will start hanging out with new people. Often teens can fall in with the wrong crowd and be tempted by peer pressure. As a parent, you should be actively involved in your child’s life and get to know who your teenager is friends with. Also, by talking to your child on a regular basis, you can learn a lot. Having open communication lines can help prevent your child from getting involved with drugs. Additionally, you should encourage your child to stay busy and get involved in after school activities. This will keep them active and help prevent them from starting a potentially deadly drug habit.

If you have already noticed some of the signs above, it is time to act and seek professional help. While having a child addicted to drugs can be embarrassing and you want to try to deal with it privately, going at it alone is not recommended. By seeking professional help, you will be able to give your child the help he or she needs. Getting off drugs can be a dangerous situation and only those who have been professionally trained can help. So please seek professional help if you think your child has become addicted to drugs.

If your child is showing signs of drug addiction or abuse we want to help. Here at Vista del Mar Hospital, we specialize in teenage drug abuse and we have the compassion and knowledge needed to end addiction. We know how hard addiction can be and trying to get through it alone can make things even more difficult. If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.