Recognizing the Signs of Teen Drug Use

In the last month alone, 22.7% of high school seniors in the US smoked marijuana in the last month. 60% of high schoolers don’t view marijuana use as harmful, in spite of the fact that the marijuana of today is up to five times stronger (based on THC levels) than the marijuana of twenty years ago. All these factors combine to one simple truth – the teens of today do not view drug use as dangerous. Unfortunately, teen drug use is a very real problem that can lead to serious issues in a child’s future unless it is caught in time.

There are many reasons behind teen drug use. Some teens turn to drugs as a result of problems at home or school. Others succumb to peer pressure. It can be caused by experimentation gone wrong in one teen and mental illness in the next. Regardless of the initial spark, very few teens actively choose to become addicted. Typically, addiction sets in unnoticed until, all of a sudden, it becomes a fact of life. As a parent, however, there is good news: while it can be difficult to fight teen drug use, there are ways to help your child.

Ways to Battle Teen Drug Use

The first step to fighting teen drug use is to know the signs. Very often, parents don’t believe their own child capable of making mistakes – while a certain degree of denial is common, a parent cannot help their child’s drug use unless they see the picture clearly. Staying informed and researching the matter can help alleviate the awkwardness of the situation. teen drug use

Teen drug use has evolved in recent years. Before, marijuana (the most commonly used substance) was most easily recognized by its telltale smell. The recent fad of smoking “dabs” – highly concentrated THC – makes the smell test useless. Secondary signs still remain, though. Changes in eating and sleeping habits, bloodshot eyes, lethargy, mood swings, and a disregard for personal appearance and hygiene commonly point to drug use. Another factor, although slightly comical, frequently proves useful as well: if a teen constantly talks about marijuana, chances are, they’re speaking from firsthand experience.

Sometimes, however, drug use stems from a deeper, underlying issue. In order to help a teen, it is important for the parent to find the root of the problem. Whether it’s bullying or depression, knowing the original thought process can shed light on the current state of the problem.

When confronting your teen, remember to stay calm. Being open and honest about your feelings on the subject – even if it includes discussing your own experience with drugs – can help your teen feel more comfortable discussing their own life. Simply taking your teens drugs away won’t alter their habits; change must come from within. Encourage positive behaviors and try to occupy your teen with other activities.

If your teen’s drug use gets out of hand, it may be time to consider professional help. Elevations, a residential treatment center for teens struggling with depression and other emotional or behavioral issues, can help your struggling teen find success.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call  today!

Posted in