Ask yourself the following questions. Each one contains a warning sign that a teenager may be experiencing a substance abuse problem or may be at risk for developing one.
- Is there a history of substance abuse in the family?
- Has there been a recent change in school performance?
- Is there increased conflict at home? Does the teen resist following reasonable house rules that are age appropriate?
- Does the teen have persistent and rapid mood swings that are outside of the norm for typical teenage behavior?
- Does the teen ever appear uncharacteristically confused, hyperactive or listless? Does he or she sleep too much or have problems falling asleep?
- Has there been a recent change in physical appearance, like weight loss?
- Does the teen have periods where he or she eats in large volumes (has the munchies)? Are there periods where he or she does not eat at all, has excessive thirst or complains of being too warm?
- Does the teen have constant sniffles, red eyes or cough?
- Does the teen go straight to their room when they come home? Does he or she often make plans to be out of the home? Is he or she often where he or she is not supposed to be?
- Has the teen ever been clearly intoxicated or had a memory lapse while intoxicated?
- Does the teen associate with peers you suspect of using substances? Has the teen changed friends or dropped activities he or she once enjoyed?
- Have you found matches, lighters, cigar tobacco, rolling papers, small envelopes, incense, pipes, razor blades, cut straws, syringes or eye drops in the teen’s possession?
- Has the teen had a problem with the law?
- Does the teen have debt or excessive cash that is unexplained?
- Has the teen been treated for medical or psychiatric reasons resulting from substance use?
- Has the teen had episodes of memory lapse?
- Has the teen ever attempted to hurt himself or others?
If you answered “yes” to several of these questions, the teen in question may benefit from a discussion or assessment with one of our therapists.
Contact us at The Center and let’s discuss how we can help.