Drug abuse and addiction is a growing problem in the United States. Back in 2014, 15.8 million women ages 18 and older reported using illicit drugs during the past year. But substance abuse is not merely an adult problem. That same year, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 1.3 million adolescents ages 12 to 17 had a substance abuse disorder. That means that one out of every 20 teens was in need of an addiction treatment program four years ago, and the growing access to opioids has made matters worse. Unfortunately, many teens do not seek out treatment on their own — and their parents might not know that they’re in need of it. But by understanding the signs of drug abuse in teens and learning how to find an appropriate detox and substance abuse treatment program for them, the family can play a critical role in recovery.
Signs of Drug Abuse in Teens
Experimentation with drugs or alcohol does not always indicate a need for substance abuse treatment. However, what begins as experimentation can quickly spiral out of control. It’s also important to note that while there are some fairly universal signs of drug abuse, not every drug dependency manifests itself in the same way. If you can, you should learn more about the drug you suspect your teen may be abusing for more specific information. Some general signs of drug addiction might include…
- Changes in her behavior (hostility, defiance, lashing out, aggression, isolation, mood swings)
- Decreased academic performance
- Lack of interest in hobbies and activities
- Changes in social circles or close friends
- Unexplained disappearances or absences from school/activities
- Conflicts at school
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Increased secrecy, demand for privacy, or deceitful behavior
- Lack of energy and/or motivation or spikes in energy
- Poor concentration and memory
- Changes in her speech (slurring, speediness)
- Changes in her appetite, thirst, and/or sleep patterns
- Emerging health problems (nausea, vomiting, sweating, nose bleeds, headaches, sudden weight loss/gain, tremors/shakes, seizures, unexplained injuries)
- Changes in her personal appearance (poor hygiene, scratches or track marks, bloodshot eyes or pupillary shifts, clenched teeth, bruises or cuts)
- Unexplained need for money
- Missing medications, alcohol, cash, etc.
- Hidden stashes of alcohol or drugs
- Drug paraphernalia
- Strong use of perfumes, incense, or other scents (to cover the smell of drugs or alcohol)
Choosing a Substance Abuse Treatment Program
If many of the signs outlined above sound familiar to you, it may be time to consider seeking out a detox center and rehab facility for your teenager. A detox center may play an important role in beginning recovery, as the treatment your teen will receive here will safely remove the substance(s) from their system. After that, the recovery process can begin. Most detox centers that offer addiction treatment programs will create a unique course of treatment for each patient. This helps to personalize the process according to each participant’s needs. You may also find it helpful to focus on women-only programs (if appropriate) or a program for adolescent addiction. Choosing a detox center and rehab program is a personal choice that is determined by the needs of your child and your family as a whole. To find out more about our facility to assess whether it’s right for your loved one, please get in touch with us today.