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Signs of Teen Alcohol or Drug Abuse

Most parents take the “Not my kid” approach to teen alcohol and drug abuse.  Statistics show, though, that many of them are not facing reality.  Most of the adolescents who engage in alcohol abuse or drug abuse can fool their parents, unless the parents know what signs to look for.

It is difficult for parents to accept that teen alcohol abuse or drug abuse are the reasons why their children’s’ grades are slipping or friends are changing.  They see it as a reflection on themselves.  So teens are rarely confronted with the subject until parents find drugs, or after an automobile accident or arrest.

There are many reasons, other than the obvious, that parents should try to stop youth alcohol or drug abuse as soon as it begins.  Besides being injured, causing injury or death to others, and having arrest records, teens do permanent damage to their minds and bodies by using alcohol and drugs.  At the very least, brain development suffers and the likelihood of future problems with alcoholism is increased.

Some clear signs are the smell of alcohol or drugs, missing money from around the house, and finding drugs or paraphernalia in hidden places.  These signs usually mean that teens have used alcohol or drugs for some time, and became complacent.  Adolescents are very careful about getting caught in early stages of use.

By the time the above signs appear other things should be evident, and parents can address the problem early.  Mood changes and defensiveness is difficult to measure with teens.  So when an abrupt change in friendships occurs, parents should insist on meeting the new acquaintances.  A sudden change in grades, loss of interest in favorite hobbies, and unusual outbursts are also very telling.

A very strong sign of teen substance abuse is when appearance and hygiene become messy, but perfumes and colognes are regularly used.  They don’t seem to care about how they look, yet they must mask the smell of drugs and alcohol.  

When parents see changes like those listed above, they should talk about them with their teens.  There are too many consequences to ignore them due to what is most-likely pride.  Adolescents need to hear the negatives of substance abuse from their parents to counter what they hear from their friends.  Otherwise, they may end up in alcohol or drug detox and treatment.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence or drug addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.



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