“This has been such an amazing journey. I’ve learned so much about myself and my son and feel for the first time in years encouraged. I no longer feel like a bad mother but instead feel courageous for learning how to better communicate with my son.”
-Parent of Adolescent Growth Graduate
Despite all of your best efforts, there may come a time that you begin to suspect your child has a problem with substances. Many things could have led you to this conclusion including overhearing a conversation not meant for your ears, reading disturbing texts or emails or perhaps you saw some concerning material on Facebook. Maybe you’ve found some odd things in your child’s pockets including pipes, lighters, spoons, blades or safety pins. Whatever the case, something is leading you to believe that your child is on drugs. You may be wondering if you are overreacting.
While you are inclined to see drug use by a teen as a serious problem, others may say “it’s only marijuana” or “there’s nothing wrong with a little experimentation”, or some may even say “I used marijuana when I was young.” However, the world has changed and so has drug use amongst minors.
The effects of drugs and alcohol on the developing brain can be detrimental. Drug use that takes place while the brain and the body are still growing can have irreversible effects on a child’s development. Drug use also impacts your child’s social development and academic performance.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse in Teens
There are a number of signals that may indicate your child is using drugs or abusing alcohol. Below is a list of potential signs and symptoms to watch out for. Keep track of how many signs or symptoms apply to your child and calculate your score which indicates the likelihood that your child is using drugs.
The result of this test is not designed to be used for diagnosis or as a psychological evaluation.
- Money missing from your purse of wallet
- Use of incense, room deodorizer or excessive perfumes and cologne
- Excessive use of mints, mouth washes and gum
- Eye drops to reduce redness
- Missing medications (over the counter as well as prescription)
- Decline in academic performance
- Personality changes
- Withdrawal and decreased interaction with good friends
- New friends and people whom the teen is unwilling to introduce to you
- Over the counter materials such as computer duster, nail polish or nail polish remover, white out, hairsprays or other inhalants found with their belongings
- Excessive sleeping
- Weight loss or decline in eating
- Increased appetite
- Drug paraphernalia such as pipes, bags of seeds, rolling papers, empty bottles, baggies, etc.
- Your child’s bedroom is strictly off limits
6 – 9 = Most Likely
10 – 15 = Strong Likelihood
A score of six and above may indicate that your child is using drugs or abusing alcohol. Decisions made by your child during the adolescent years can have an impact on the rest of their life. Without proper guidance, your child could already be on a path of which there is no escaping. The faster your child receives treatment, the less likely these negative outcomes will be.
Let Us Help You
It is our hope that you will reach out for help and choose to put your child in treatment. Adolescent Growth is a nationally recognized and accredited treatment facility that is a leader in the treatment of adolescents who have problems with substances. We offer intensive treatment for persons that are twelve to seventeen years of age and are struggling with substance abuse issues. Our treatment program is built on a variety of research based treatment methods that are proven to help teens turn their lives around. Each staff member is uniquely qualified to treat adolescents with substance abuse issues. We do not judge, condemn or blame. Rather we encourage, empathize, challenge, educate and equip. Adolescent Growth is committed to excellence and is a preferred provider with most medical insurance companies. We are accredited by the Joint Commission.