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As teens struggle with complicated emotions, stress, peer pressure and facing the future, they may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope instead of learning how to deal with them appropriately. Through the help of family, friends, teachers and other people who love your teen, it is possible to overcome substance abuse in teenagers.
Both genetic and environmental factors make some teens more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol than others. Some of these risk factors include the following:
Adults, friends, teachers and parents are crucial when it comes to identifying the signs of substance abuse. If not caught early, casual use can turn into abuse in some people.
Teens may use drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons. For example, peer pressure or other social influences, pop culture, boredom, lack of coping mechanisms, misinformation, rebellion and self-esteem are all factors that may lead teens to turn toward drugs and alcohol. Signs that they are using include:
Changes in behavior:
Changes in personal appearance:
If you find any type of drug residue, remains or paraphernalia, you may want to speak to your teen. Other common signs include missing cash, medication, cigarettes or alcohol and strong perfumes or incense (to mask the odors of drugs and alcohol).
If you have noticed several of these signs and are concerned about your teen’s possible substance abuse, don’t be afraid to talk to your teen and ask for help. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids offers great resources for parents.
“Teen Drug Abuse: The Warning Signs.” Drugabuse.com, by American Addiction Centers.
“Early Warning Signs of Teen Substance Abuse.” Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/fcd/early-warning-signs-of-teen-substance-use
“Preventing Teen Drug Use: Risk Factors & Why Teens Use.” Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.