Signs of Drug Abuse in Teens

It’s necessary to notice early on the signs of drug abuse in teenagers to keep them from potentially leading a life of drug abuse. If there is a drug abuse problem in place, there is treatment available, but to know whether treatment is needed it’s necessary to see the signs.

There are many teens who already have had experience with drugs or alcohol, and they do so because of peer pressure or to use as a coping mechanism.

There are specific behaviors to watch out for in teens who may have drug abuse problems.


First, they may miss school or not go to class a lot – this can be due to taking drugs or simply being too ill to go because of a hangover or withdrawal. The drugs may be affecting their mental performance, so it’s possible there’ll be a drop in grades. Sometimes there can be emotional conflict, so it’s possible that the teen suffering from substance abuse may get into arguments or fights with friends or other peers – they may get a group of older friends as well, possibly the people from whom they’re getting drugs.

Depression, confusion, mood swings and other emotions are all part of the normal teenage growth process, but if they’re coupled with these other signs, and if they seem exaggerated, drug abuse is a possibility. The may also tend to isolate themselves, get into legal trouble, or have drastic changes in taste of music, clothing, hairstyle and overall appearance.

If you notice a large weight gain or loss, this can be from drug abuse – crack is known to cause a rapid weight drop. Marijuana abuse can be seen if the teen constantly seems to have dilated eyes or bloodshot eyes. Generally, overall fatigue and poor health, in conjuction with the other signs mentioned, can point to the need for addiction treatment.

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