Drug abuse in children and teenagers can have long-term behavioral and cognitive effects since their brain is still developing.
However, most parents do not realize that the children are abusing until it’s too late. Early realization can help the child from physical pain and parents need to be extra vigilant towards their children because of the growing cases of drug abuse among teenagers. It is critical to know the difference between addiction and drug abuse. Many teens start experimenting under peer pressure; however, the nature of the chemicals in the drugs is such that many teens do not realize when they move on to becoming dependent.
Identification and inhibition of drug abuse can avert an emerging problem before it starts. Talk about drug addiction, set a good example, visiting a rehab in Delhi for educational purpose, etc. can help prevent teenage substance abuse.
Common reasons teens abuse alcohol and drugs include:
- A desire to escape
- Emotional Struggles
- Peer Pressure
- Inability to deal with hormonal changes in body
According to statistics, the majority of adults who abuse drugs began experimenting with different drugs before they turned 21. If you are a parent and worried about your child doing something unethical like using drugs, here are the warning signs that you must look for.
- Possession of drugs or alcohol is itself a dead giveaway that your child is using them.
- Another sign is odd smells. See if your child has lately been using excessive amounts of body sprays. If he/she is, reach out to his/her clothes and smell to determine if something is wrong. In most cases, drugs won’t show up, but if your child is taking marijuana, then he/she will definitely try to hide the smell.
- Rapidly falling grades are one of the common consequences of drug use or addiction. If your child was always punctual with his/her studies and you see a sudden change, it may be time for you to have the ‘talk’ with your child regarding drug abuse.
- If your child is not attending school or tuition classes as regularly as earlier, then he/she may be using drugs.
- Glazed expressions are a sign of drug addiction; however, in teenagers, it is hard to tell. But if you see your child looking stoned all the time, then he/she may be using drugs.
- If your child starts hanging out with a different crowd you have not met, you must make it a point to meet them and understand them. It could be a harmless friendship or it could lead to addiction.
- Avoiding talks and giving evasive answers is another sign that your child might be using drugs
- Constant headache, memory problems, and other mental issues is another sign of drug abuse
Also Read: What is Substance Abuse?
The mentioned signs and symptoms cannot always be linked to drugs given the age of your child. Most teenagers go through specific changes, and this can be just a normal transition. But, you need to keep your eyes and ears open and be upfront about getting your teen to understand the harmful effects of drug use.
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This blog was reviewed by Dr. Anant (MBBS, DNB Psychiatry), a Consultant Psychiatrist at Safe House Premium. He has written articles for print media like NDTV and has recently written on Mental Health effects due to COVID. Dr. Anant specializes in treating Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, and de-addiction and rehabilitation of Alcohol and Drug dependence syndrome.