Contributed by Hannah Whittenly
Drug use is on the rise in the US. Most drug use starts during the teenage years. Your teenager may be getting drugs from your medicine cabinet or from their friends. Here are some signs of addiction and steps to take to help your teenager.
Mood and Behavioral Changes
The teenage years can be an emotional rollercoaster for the whole family. You may not notice right away if your teen starts acting differently. Many of the behaviors associated with drug addiction include acting in a more reckless manner. You may notice that your teen’s grades are slipping. They may want to sleep all day, and go out and party with their friends all night. You may notice that they’re louder and more obnoxious than before. They may stumble around the house, or have a glassy look in their eyes.
A sudden change in your teen’s appearance may be a sign of a more serious problem. This can be that they just don’t feel like getting ready for the day. They may not change their clothes very often. Some teens will change peer groups. This can lead to them wanting to dress more like their new friends. Getting to know their friends can help you determine if your teen has a problem. This can just be a case of teenage rebellion, or they may be struggling with drug addiction.
Confront the Issue
If you suspect a problem, you need to get in front of it. Talk to your teen about your suspicions. Ask them the hard questions and watch how they react. This will need to be handled with some delicacy. You don’t want them to feel as though you’ve cornered them. This can lead to an immediate shutting down on their part. Then, you’re right back where you started. You can’t help your teen if they don’t feel comfortable confiding in you.
Seek Professional Assistance
The situation may be more than you can handle. Seek out professional advice in how to deal with the situation. Your teen may respond better to a stranger right now than you. Don’t take this personally. Your teenager is struggling with something and needs you to be there for them. Blaming each other won’t solve the issue. A professional can help you diffuse the situation. This will allow you to make the best decision for how to help your teen.
Don’t ignore the warning signs that your teen may be struggling with addiction. Take action before it’s too late.