Recognizing Substance Abuse Problems in Teenagers

Early recognition of a drug or alcohol addiction that requires teen drug treatment isn’t always easy.

There are some common changes that parents should look for in their teenagers:

  • Drop in grades or not showing up at school at all
  • Increasing carelessness about personal appearance
  • Change in friends or peer groups (often includes no longer bringing friends home)
  • Increased need for money, including stealing cash (drugs require cash, and as the addiction increases, so does the need for money)
  • Secretive text messaging and phone calls (may even seem to be in code, or using odd expressions and phrases)
  • Lack of interest in former hobbies, sports, and activities
  • Increasing and intensive demand for privacy

Any parent will agree that these behavioral changes are somewhat normal in a teen, but when many of these are present, and to a great degree, these are signs that may indicate a substance abuse issue.

Teen substance abuse is a frightening and frustrating experience that affects every member of the family. Multiple studies show that a combination of individual and family counseling services is the most effective method to help teens get back on track. MFI Recovery’s compassionate staff and certified counselors help parents better understand their teenager, and teach them how to support their teen in a positive way during active addiction treatment and into recovery.

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