Teen Drug Use Warning Signs

Teen Drug Use Warning Signs - the reality. Learn what the warning signs associated with common teen drug use are for several types of drugs teenagers are using. Also learn what some general teen drug warning signs are that you can look for.

Drug use is becoming more common these days, following some brief dips in use in past years. From tobacco use to more “dangerous” drugs, teen substance abuse is a reality. Indeed, alcohol and tobacco, are often overlooked because they are legal for persons of a certain age. But these are still substances that are illegal for most high school students, and their use can have lasting consequences.

Warning signs associated with common teen drug use

Teen drug use warning signs vary according to the substance being abused. The signs of depressants often differ from the signs of tobacco use, for example. It is a good idea to be generally familiar with some of the telltale signs of certain types of substance abuse:

Tobacco. Tobacco products can be smokeless or have smoke. Some of the warning signs of teen tobacco use include discolored fingertips, smelling of tobacco on a regular basis, finding cigarette butts at the curb, smokeless tobacco tins or pouches in the trash and discoloring of the lips or teeth. Tobacco users can also be frequently irritable, and you may notice that your teen goes outside regularly, even in poor weather, for 10 to 20 minute periods throughout the day.

Marijuana. Common signs of teen drug abuse of marijuana include red eyes, hunger, excitability, sleepiness, lack of motivation and even paranoia. It is important to note that paraphernalia and the presence of odors related to smoking are also indicators of marijuana use. Watch for small bits of papers (possibly used for rolling) or play money in the trashcans.

Over the counter cough medicines. While not technically illegal, many students are using over the counter cough medicines. This type of abuse can be a problem, since it causes irregular hear rate and can even induce death on an overdose. Keep an eye on medications at home. Do they seem to be depleting more rapidly than normal? Watch for signs of stickiness and/or discoloration around the mouth and on the fingers.

Inhalants. These are drugs that are inhaled, usually through the nose. Many of these items are common household items, such as cleaners, aerosols or even gasoline. Be on the alert for the smells that accompany these items, being wary if clothing carries odors. Confusion, irritability and runny nose are all signs of inhalant abuse.

Depressants. Depressants are quite dangerous, especially when mixed with alcohol. It is vital to be on the lookout for signs that might indicate teen drug use with depressants. These signs include lowered inhibitions, sleepiness, lack of coordination, lower blood pressure and heart rate, coma and dizziness. If you suspect overdose from depressants, it is important to get professional help for the teen immediately.

Stimulants. These are the opposite of depressants. Teen drug use warning signs for stimulants include such items as rapid heart rate and high blood pressure, seizures, excessive buoyancy, irritability, lack of sleep and paranoia.

Narcotics. Pain can be reduced by narcotics, and you might find that a teen abusing these drugs does not react the same when an accident befalls him or her. Additionally, signs to look for in narcotic use include sleepiness, excessive exuberance and slowed breathing.

Hallucinogens. Most students who abuse hallucinogens show signs of sleeping trouble (due to nightmares, usually), paranoia and trouble with their sensory perceptions.

Club drugs. These are drugs that may be found at parties. Ecstasy is one of the most popular examples. These teens may show signs of euphoria, as well as signs of fever - but without sweat. Paraphernalia for club drugs include hard candy and lollipops. If you see an excessive amount of candy wrappers or lollipop sticks in the trash, that could be a warning sign. Also, large candy rings and pacifiers are associated with club drug use.

Even if you do not know the specific signs of teen drug abuse, there are some common signs that drug use may be a part of your teenager’s life. These are general signs that show that something may not be normal in your teen’s life. So pay heed to these common and general teen drug use warning signs:

  • Shows decreased interest in social activities.
  • Avoids friends and family.
  • Increased and unnatural moodiness.
  • Shows signs of depression.
  • Drop in school grades.
  • No longer participates in hobbies or interests.
  • May become aggressive.
  • Changes in sleeping patterns.
  • Weight swings and changes in eating patterns.

Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish teen drug use warning signs and normal teen emotional behavior. However, if your teen exhibits more than two or three of the above, there is the potential for a problem, and it is important to get help for substance abuse as soon as possible.

Source: Medicine.net - medicinenet.com

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