Teen Addiction: Know the Warning Signs

Is it teen addiction? If you’ve noticed unusual changes in your teenager’s behavior, it’s normal to be concerned. Teen addiction is a serious problem, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between typical teenage behavior and a potential red flag.

In this article, we’ll discuss some common warning signs of teen addiction and talk about the best way to address a suspected problem.

Behavioral Signs of Teen Addiction

Puberty can cause a degree of moodiness and difficult behavior in teens; however, if your adolescent child has been displaying some unusual changes in their behavior, it could be a sign of teen addiction. A few of these changes include:1

  • Poor school performance: a drop in grades or skipping classes
  • Losing interest in hobbies or extracurricular activities
  • Demanding an unusual amount of privacy
  • Acting withdrawn or secretive
  • Sudden changes in friends
  • Abrupt mood swings and changes in personality

Physical Signs of Teen Addiction

Teen addiction doesn’t just affect behavior—it also causes a number of physical signs and symptoms. Be on the lookout for the following changes that can indicate teen addiction:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unexplained changes in weight
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Seizures in children who have no history of epilepsy
  • Odd smells on clothing or breath
  • Unusual changes in sleeping and eating habits

Getting Help for Teen Addiction: The Next Steps

Admitting that your child struggles with addiction isn’t easy, but sweeping the problem under the rug won’t make teen addiction go away.

Taking your teen to the doctor is a good first step. A physician can evaluate them for signs of drug use and refer them to a treatment professional.

You can also reach out to treatment centers directly.2 Some treatment programs are structured in a way that your child would be able to continue attending school, at least on a part-time basis.

When it comes to teen addiction, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Catching teen addiction in the early stages can prevent devastating and even deadly consequences down the line. With the right treatment and a good support system, teen addiction can be overcome and your child can go on to lead a happy, healthy life.


  1. https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/signs-and-symptoms/what-to-look-for-signs-and-symptoms
  2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment/what-to-do-if-your-teen-or-young-adult-has-problem-drugs