Drug abuse doesn’t only affect the person who’s abusing the drugs. In large part, the symptoms of drug abuse include the inability of the person to perform her daily responsibilities. Although a teen may not be the head of the family, she still has responsibilities – to school as well as to the balance of the household. One teen with a drug problem is an entire household with a drug problem.
The first thing to do when you suspect your teen may be abusing drugs is to hone in on the problem. Is there any hard evidence of abuse? Where is your teen getting the drugs? What can parents do to create a better environment for the teen who engages in drug abuse? All of these questions need to be answered for the health of the family.
Identifying Signs of Teen Drug Abuse
Teen drug abuse shows itself in many ways – physically, emotionally and behaviorally. Most of the time, a teen who’s heavily into drugs will begin to prioritize her use. The mind of the teen is especially fragile and susceptible to suggestion, and this is exactly what drugs do.
Teens who prioritize drugs will begin to slack off in school performance. Activities once enjoyed by the individual will no longer be important. The teen may also attempt to isolate herself from other family members. If you notice your teen hangs up the phone or closes the computer lid every time you walk into the room, something negative may be happening. It’s time to investigate.
Physical symptoms may also show themselves. Teens who are abusing drugs have a more difficult time sleeping and keeping a normal school schedule. You may receive reports about your child missing class. You may see certain physical symptoms, such as irritability in the mornings, red eyes, pale skin, rapid weight loss or gain and lack of an appetite to correspond with it.
Your family dynamic will invariably be upset. Teens who use drugs often act differently from their normal personalities, and this is enough to warrant further discussion and investigation.
What This Means for Other Family Members
The teen is usually the central figure in the household. Teens demand attention and plenty of resources designated to them, such as use of the car, time away from the family to engage in extracurricular activities, training for jobs and money for school supplies. If the teen isn’t returning this investment with love and performance, the family will naturally become very worried.
Teens who use drugs also take resources away from the other children in the family, if there are any. Teens who are responsible for younger brothers and sisters may allow them to get into dangerous situations. Those who require extra attention because of radical behavior take away time from other children. The stress teen drug use causes for parents may lead them to suffer in their own job performance, creating a loss of money for the household. This can result in a lack of resources, and affect all family members both emotionally and economically.
The emotional toll that comes from teen drug use may occur on a public level as well. People may comment on the look and behavior of the teen at school, at religious ceremonies or in other interactions on the street. This can cause the family a great deal of embarrassment along with exclusion from community events, leading the entire household to feel isolated from the outside community.
Finding Treatment Programs for Teen Drug Abuse
If you’re looking for a drug treatment program for your teen, begin your search by talking to your trusted family physician. Your physician will have knowledge of the personality and health of your teen. This is the person who can recommend a local program that’ll provide the necessary emotional, physical and medical environment for your teen.
Don’t be afraid to ask religious leaders in your area, especially those with whom you’re familiar. Many people in religion have inside information about effective drug treatment programs from dealing with cases in their clergy or congregation. Religious leaders often keep in close contact with the medical community.
Even if you don’t have hard evidence your teen is doing drugs, you don’t have to wait on a red-handed event to call a reputable drug treatment facility. As a matter of fact, a reputable facility can help you determine if the behavior or physical appearance of your teen is due to drug abuse. If you have the slightest suspicion your teenager is abusing any type of substance, whether legal or illegal, don’t hesitate to call.
Once your family has decided that teen drug abuse will no longer be a part of your life, give the hotline a call at 800-447-9081. Addiction experts are fully prepared to assist any family with a teen who needs help overcoming drug abuse.
Don’t wait until the problem has become too difficult to reverse! The way to reverse teen drug abuse is by stopping it as soon as you see it. There’s a way out for your teen and your family, and addiction professionals are ready to help you find it.