Experimenting with drugs at an early age can greatly increase a teenager’s risk of future drug abuse. To circumvent this unfortunate outcome, it’s important to recognize the signs of drug use in teens.
Teenagers are enticed to experiment with drugs for many reasons. They have to contend with peer pressure, raging hormones, stress, and simple curiosity. They are too young to understand the serious consequences this experimentation may lead to.
Although early drug use can increase the risk of later addiction, it is not guaranteed. If you recognize the signs early, you can help a teen prevent their drug use from becoming abuse.
Continue reading below to learn more about the signs of drug use in teens.
1. Changes in Appearance
Those who use drugs often feel less inhibited. This can lead them to take less care of their personal appearance. They may also show physical signs of using drugs that they can’t prevent.
They may exhibit poor hygiene from taking fewer showers or brushing their teeth less often. Additionally, many drugs have a distinct scent that can make a user smell oddly.
Intravenous drug users will have track marks on their arms, legs, or feet that they cannot avoid. As a result, they may wear long sleeves or pants to cover them.
Other physiological signs include pupil miosis, bloodshot eyes, persistent scratching, and unexplained cuts, bruises, burns, or sores.
2. Behavioral Changes
Drug users not only change in appearance but behavior as well. This is due to the effects drugs have on the brain.
Sometimes the behavioral changes present as apathy. This can include poor performance in school, loss of interest in hobbies or extracurriculars, or avoiding friends and family. They may act like they’re hiding something.
Behavioral changes can also be aggressive. They can include more trouble and conflict at school and at home.
3. Personality Changes
If behavior and appearance are affected, you can bet mood and personality are too. Drug use can negatively affect emotional stability.
It can cause less motivation, less energy, slurred speech, diminished memory or concentration. Conversely, other drug use can cause rapid speech, loud or obnoxious behavior, or extreme mood swings.
4. Health Issues
Of course, substances that cause so many undesirable effects can cause health issues. Appetite, sleep, and bowel movements can be affected.
Specific drugs can cause specific health issues. Cocaine, or any drug taken nasally, can cause nosebleeds or runny nose.
Other serious health effects include weight gain or loss, seizure, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and tremors. Visiting a professional treatment center, like Muse Treatment, is the best way to address these issues.
5. More Signs of Drug Use in Teens
The signs of drug use in teens may be obvious or subtle. If you suspect a teen of using drugs, you can check their personal spaces for drug paraphernalia, drug stashes, or drug residue.
If you’ve noticed money or prescription drugs going missing, it’s a time to search. It may be an invasion of their privacy, but if they’re under your roof with illegal substances, you are responsible for them.
For other parenting tips and advice, feel free to check out our page.