Signs Your Teen is Abusing Drugs

substance abuse

If your teenager is using drugs or alcohol regularly, he or she may be causing tremendous harm to their body and brain. Some of the most common symptoms, like changes in eating and sleep habits, are easily mistaken as normal teenage behavior. For that reason, it’s always good to be concerned about these things, especially if your teen seems emotionally troubled.

There’s no concrete line in which typical teenage behavior becomes a worthy cause for concern–only personal judgement. The key is practicing open conversation with your teen enough to know the difference should your teen ever actually wind up in this situation.

Worsening of Health

The most obvious changes can be seen in the face: baggy eyes, dry skin, chapped lips, cold sweats…

Some additional health issues include:

  • Going in and out of sickness
  • Low energy
  • Hyperactivity
  • Strange eating habits
  • Burns, bruises, or track marks
  • Headaches
  • Injuries
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweatiness
  • Flushed skin or rashes

Academic Nosedive

As we all know, addiction leads us to set aside, neglect, or forget our important obligations. If you notice your teen starting to slack in areas where they normally do well or thrive–again, don’t excuse it as a phase. You may get calls about them from teachers and administrators, so take those seriously. Same goes for jobs and hobbies. When somebody drops a passion suddenly, it’s unlikely that they simply lost interest: something is distracting them.

Suspicious Behavior

As substance abuse disorders grow, so does the space between the addict and their loved ones. Very quickly, new friends replace old news, lying becomes typical, and the occasional bratty attitude blows up into a constant misbehavior that cannot be ignored or excused.


Everyday spent in active addiction is a risk, because overdoses and accidents happen unexpectedly. If you notice the warning signs–even if you’re doubtful as to what they mean–you should speak with a professional. Call today: 949-637-5499