Monday, August 16, 2010

How to Tell if my Teen is Using Drugs or Drinking?

Let’s face it; it can be difficult for a parent to confirm if a child is using drugs or alcohol. Of course a parent can catch a teen in the act or find evidence in their bedroom; however in most cases it is not that simple. According to, there are steps and signs to help.

1. Ask: If you and your teen have open lines of communication, then this would a good first step for you. Be careful not to attack your teen; you want to avoid escalating the situation to where the teen becomes defensive or tries to run away.

2. There are signs that can help you identify if your teen is using or drinking:

• Behavioral Issues: Mood swings, unusually tired, very silent, decrease of inhibitions, lack of motivation, unusual clumsiness, poor balance, uncoordinated, obnoxious behavior, laughing at nothing, secretive, depression, hostile/angry, awake for long periods of time followed by long sleep periods, slur speech, unable to form sentences. Change in relationships with family members or friends.

• Personal Appearance: Poor hygiene, mess/unclean clothes, careless appearance, burns or ashes on fingers/lips, flushed cheeks or face, track marks on arms/legs and long sleeves/pants in warm weather.

• A Change in Personal Habits: locking bedroom doors, going out every night, disrespecting family, new group of friends, smell of smoke on clothes/breath, heavy consumption of chewing gum or mints, use of eye drops, frequently breaking curfew, money problems, reckless driving or accidents, avoiding eye contact, sudden use of candles/ air fresheners, clenched teeth, secret phone calls/text messages and munchies or increase in snacks and appetite.

• School/Work Issues: loss of interest, grades dropping, decrease participation in hobbies/ sports, skipping class, complaints from teachers or coworkers, getting into fights, not fulfilling duties.

• Health Issues: Nose bleeds, frequent sickness, dramatic weight loss/gain, accidents, bruises, headaches, sweatiness, vomiting, seizures, and excessive thirst.

• Home/Car Problems: prescriptions disappearing, missing cigarettes/alcohol, money/valuables missing, unusual smells, containers, wrappers, seeds, pipes/bongs in glove box, rolling papers, increase in lighters.

One of these problems alone is not enough to confirm that your teen is using drugs or drinking, but could be a result of normal teenage growth. However, if you begin to see many changes and an increase in the areas mentioned above than you mihgt want to contact Inspirations Teen Rehab to help your teen.

Inspirations for Youth and Families aka, Inspirations Teen Rehab is here to help your teen and your family through this difficult process.

Reach out to us. Recovery from addiction is just a click or a phone call away. If the information you are looking for is not found here and you need immediate attention you may contact us:

Addiction Treatment for Teens: 1-888-757-6237

Addiction Treatment for Adults and Young Adults: 1-888-387-6237

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