What Symptoms Teens Show When Addicted to Drugs

If you are in a situation where you believe one of your teenage child has become addicted to drugs, you are probably facing a myriad of simultaneous emotions like rage, sadness, disappointment, concern, confusion, and helpless. These conflicting feelings make focusing on helping your teen the right way nearly impossible as most parents’ first reaction to drug abuse is some form of punishment.

However, punishing your child might just push them deeper into their drug addiction. That being said, your child will likely react best to your suggestions if you show your genuine concern and talk with them sincerely about addiction and how it can affect the entire family. When you and your teen are ready to start rehab and get the addiction out of the family for good, First Step Behavioral Health will be here to help achieve you and your loved ones’ sobriety goals.


Signs and Symptoms of Teen Drug Addiction

Since teens are going through so many changes in their bodies,many of the symptoms of drug addiction are actually similar to the way some teens change during those formative years. Because of that, you will need to tread carefully  when trying to find out whether your child is on drugs or not. That being said, there are certain signs you should look for that are strong indicators that they may have a substance abuse problem:

  • You can detect new smells on them, including things like cigarette smoke, marijuana, vapor rub, and others.
  • Finding paraphernalia, pills, or the drugs themselves in your teen’s possession and/or in their room.
  • Detachment from social activities, friends, family, pursuit of education, or lifelong hobbies.
  • Sudden drastic weight changes, especially rapid weight loss


While these all aren’t necessarily definitive signs and symptoms of teen drug addiction, if you notice these, especially in conjunction with each other, you should start paying closer attention to find out what’s really going on. For more information about teen drug addiction and getting help for your child, contact us right away. 


Actual footage of teen drug abuse

The Prevalence of Teen Drug Abuse

Drug abuse and addiction affect every demographic. Whether you’re 16 or 60, you’re not immune to the risk of substance abuse. However, for teens the problem is especially damaging. See the scope of the epidemic with the following statistics revealing the prevalence of teen drug abuse.

More Teens Use Marijuana Than Smoke Cigarettes

Many parents are shocked to learn that, among high school students in the United States, teens use marijuana more than tobacco. While a small percentage of high school students smoke cigarettes, a much larger portion use marijuana in some form. This is surprising, because tobacco use is generally more common than drug use. However, this information shows that most teens use marijuana regularly.

60 Percent of High School Seniors See Marijuana as Harmless

Over the past few decades, the attitude toward marijuana has shifted significantly. Today, a full 60 percent of high school seniors think marijuana is harmless. Even those teens who don’t use marijuana still assume the substance is safe.

This mindset is likely because of lax marijuana consumption laws in many states. A lot of states allow medicinal marijuana consumption, and some states even allow recreational use. Unfortunately, this attitude increases use among impressionable teens. It can also be to blame for the rising numbers of teens struggling with marijuana addiction.

Drug Education and Awareness from Parents Can Help

Talking about substance abuse with teens isn’t easy. However, it can make a tremendous impact. By some estimates, drug awareness and education talks from parental figures reduce drug use significantly. That’s a great reason to talk with teens and adolescents about the risks and dangers of addiction.

Experimentation Is Seen as Normal Among Teens

One of the biggest motivators behind increased teen drug use is the idea that dangerous substances aren’t problematic. In reality, this mindset couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, half of all teenagers believe that using crack cocaine just once or twice is harmless. Nearly forty percent feel the same way about heroin.

Experimenting just once or twice with a drug like heroin, however, could mean a lifelong addiction. A staggering 23 percent of people who try heroin just once can develop an addiction. Thus, more awareness about the risks of drug abuse is a necessity for teens.

Fighting Back Against Teen Drug Abuse

Parents should recognize the signs of drug abuse. If they don’t identify substance abuse early, an addiction is more likely to develop. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, resources are available to help people achieve optimal health and sobriety. Treatments include:

Detox support
Dual diagnosis treatment
Talk therapy
Family therapy

Teen drug abuse is a growing epidemic. However, help is always available. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, teens and their parents can find ideal recovery support. Call (866) 319-6126 to learn more about embracing sobriety with teenage drug addiction treatment.