The teenage years are the prime time to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Teens spend a lot of time away from their parents, in new places with new people. But it’s not all fun and games. Many poor behavioral habits among teens can be attributed to addiction to drugs and alcohol. In fact, drug and alcohol use is highly common among victims of teen suicide.
Your responsibilities as a parent include caring for and developing a personal relationship with your child, but sometimes relationship-building can be difficult, especially if your teen is using drugs or alcohol. How can you tell if your teen is dealing with addiction?
Hanging Out with Different Friends
Your teenager doesn’t want to spend time with you 24/7; that’s just a fact of life. But teens consumed by addiction often wind up isolating themselves from their families and dropping their old friends to roll with a more eccentric and substance-abusing crowd. These new friends often negatively influence their peers, encouraging them to participate in illegal activities, like gas station robberies and skipping school or acting out in class.
Dramatic Lifestyle Changes
It’s normal for kids to grow away from toy trucks and Barbie dolls, but if your teen starts to go dark or too lackadaisical, it’s time to have a chat. Teens with drug or alcohol addiction problems often adopt styles that exhibit that influence in their lives. Their bedrooms become dark holes where they spend much of their time when they’re not at school or with newfound “friends.” Their tastes in music often morphs into tunes with lyrics more related to drug and alcohol use, which is also reflected in their choice of clothing.
Sudden and Excessive Use of Perfume
Some teenagers will stop at nothing to try to hide their drug and alcohol habits from their parents or caregivers. It’s not uncommon for them to use excessive amounts of air freshener in their rooms or perfume on themselves before venturing into the public or even the next room.
Problems at School
Are you being contacted almost regularly by your teen’s school for behavioral and/or academic issues? Mixed with other symptoms, this may also be a sign that your teen is using drugs or alcohol. Adolescents who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction often misbehave in class, care less about their grades, or even skip classes just for an excuse to get out and maybe sneak a joint or drink.
Stealing Money and Personal Belongings
Desperate addicts will go to extreme measures when they need a fix. If you find small increments of money disappearing from your wallet or knickknacks vanishing throughout your home, you may want to talk to your teen.
Be aware of your teen’s behavior and social habits, and be available for conversation if your loved one approaches you about anything. Drug and alcohol use is nothing to overlook. Addiction early on can be harmful to your son’s or daughter’s cognitive development, which can lead to many problems later in life.
These are just a handful of behavioral signs your teen may be dealing with addiction. There are also many physical and psychological signs of teen addiction, as well. For information on how to get help for your teen, contact Rehab After Work Outpatient Treatment Centers today.