Is Your Teenager into Drugs? 6 Signs to Watch for and When Does an IOP Recovery Center Come In

As an adult, it may be difficult for you to know if your teenager is under the influence of drugs. This difficulty comes from the fact that teenagers show symptoms of puberty that are somehow similar to symptoms of drug abuse. However, that doesn’t mean that you can never know if they are doing drugs.

6 Signs That Your Teenager Is Under Substance Use

As a parent, you might be thinking that suspecting your teenager of substance abuse means that you don’t trust them. This is far from the truth since cases like this require parents to be more observant. After all, it is better to know if your suspicions are true sooner rather than later. These 6 signs will help you check if your teenager is under the influence of drugs.

1. Drastic Changes in Mood Swings

Teenagers often have mood swings which make it hard for parents to know if this is merely a symptom of puberty or drug abuse. You’ll know that it is more than the regular signs of puberty if your teenager quickly changes mood swings to a level that is not tolerable. For example, your teenager is quick to turn to hostility even when they were just elated a few minutes ago. They can also show signs of being uncooperative and less motivated than usual.

2. Behavioral Changes

Behavioral changes can be easier to notice because teenagers don’t often have a very dynamic routine especially when they go to school. Some signs of behavioral changes include avoiding eye contact, going to their room more often than usual, missing school, not eating, and the like. If they show a loss of interest in the things they used to love, then this can be a sign of drug abuse, too.

3. Increased Sickness

One of the side effects of drug use is weakened immunity especially when the drugs being used are not prescribed by a doctor. When your child turns sicklier, it can be a side effect of not being able to sleep, smoking, too much drinking, or poor hygiene. Some teenagers also end up looking more disheveled and untidier. Even if these are just hygienic signs, lack of proper hygiene can lead to illness when not improved soon.

4. Increased Absence for Long Periods of Time

As a teenager, they will usually have activities that are outside of school. While this is pretty normal, they won’t always need to stay outdoors until the dead of night. When your child becomes absent for long periods of time and does not come back in time for their curfew, then this can be a sign of drug use.

5. Has Financial Problems

Drugs are not cheap and if you are giving your teenager enough money for school and food, they shouldn’t be losing their money every day. When this happens, you should be able to regulate their finances and ask why they are losing their money so quickly. You may also ask the school if there are big expenses asked of their students just to check if their stories match.

6. Mental Illness

When it comes to mental illnesses, these can be a cause for drug abuse or vice versa. If your child has started to use drugs without proper medication and guidance, then they might experience other mental illnesses as a side effect.

Depression is a common symptom of drug abuse. When your child feels more sullen, then they may be depressed. For others, anorexia or increased food intake is the symptom that they experience. Excessive eating can be a form of hyperactivity while anorexia may be a side effect of the mood swings they feel coming from drug use.

When to Seek Help

When you’ve confirmed that your teenager is under substance abuse, the first thing you have to do is not panic. At the same time, do not confront them in an aggressive way as you may trigger some dangerous feelings and reactions in them. As much as possible, talk about it properly with your child.

An IOP Sugarland recovery center is always the first step in drug rehabilitation. Even if your child is unwilling, you should try to persuade them to recover from drug abuse as this may lead to greater health problems in the future. Look for a rehabilitation center that is close to home and has a wide range of treatment options for teenagers. It is also better that the rehab center itself caters to teenagers in the same situation.