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Is My Teen Using Drugs and Alcohol?

man talks to teen about drug and alcohol use

Adolescence is a life stage often marked by mood swings, pushback against authority, and a growing desire for independence. When teens already seem to be going through such chaos, it can obscure the signs of teenage substance abuse. But spotting the signs of teen drug use early is key to ensuring proper intervention before the development of an addiction. If you keep wondering whether your teen is using drugs or alcohol, call The Arbor at 844.413.2690 to find out more about our young adult addiction treatment program.

Signs of Teenage Substance Abuse

One of the hallmark signs of teenage substance abuse is sudden behavioral changes. A few things to be vigilant about related to your teen’s behavior include:

  • Loss of interest in favorite hobbies, extracurricular activities, or sports
  • Shifting friend groups
  • Growing anger, aggression, or despondency
  • Slipping grades or academic troubles

In addition to behavioral changes, parents should be on the lookout for some obvious physical warning signs. Drug use and addiction often result in sudden weight loss, frequent nosebleeds, bloodshot eyes, or shakes and tremors. Understanding how addictive behavior presents itself in teens lays the foundation for making a timely, accurate decision for whether or not to connect your teen to medical help. 

How Do I Know if My Teen Is Using Drugs or Alcohol?

A complicating factor in answering the question, “Is my teen using drugs or alcohol?” is the fact that addiction is a progressive disease. Simply put, it means addiction develops over time. Using drugs or alcohol once does not automatically lead to addiction. Even teens who use substances on multiple occasions may never develop an addiction. The following concerns increase the likelihood that a teen will develop a harmful chemical dependence:

  • Underdevelopment of coping skills
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Unhealed trauma

Understanding the patterns, routines, and behaviors that dominate your teen’s life is critical in addiction recovery. The more you know your teen and the more in-tune you are with what they like, how they spend their time, and who their friends are, the easier it will be to notice when sudden changes occur. 

Peer Influence Matters

You may be tempted to rely on your teen’s friends to notice and be able to tell you if your teen is using drugs or alcohol. But that is a serious error. For one, peer pressure is one of the most common reasons young adults use drugs in the first place. Secondarily, it is always the parent’s responsibility to foster a trusting relationship that keeps lines of communication open. Relying on subsidiary actors to warn you about early signs of drug use is unlikely to keep your teen safe. 

The treatment journey is a very challenging and rewarding process. Each client at The Arbor is assigned a personal recovery team that includes therapists, coaches, and a psychiatrist if needed. Our luxury drug rehab provides the ideal environment for healing.

Risk Factors for Teen Drug Use

Considering the visible signs of teen drug use is important. Watchful parents can well equip themselves with knowledge about common risk factors before their children enter their teen years. This can set you up for success in helping them navigate a difficult life stage. Each person on our staff is committed to helping people live their best lives in recovery.

Young Adult Treatment Program

The Arbor specializes in providing comprehensive addiction treatment to teens through our young adult treatment program. Addressing addiction in young adults relies on including the entire family. We always look to partner with parents in helping their teens recover from addiction. Call us at 844.413.2690 to learn more about how our young adult treatment program can deliver results for your family. 

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