Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse - Is Your Teen Using Alcohol or Drugs?
hard to tell if your teen is using alcohol or drugs. Parents may worry
that their teens are involved with drugs or alcohol if they become withdrawn or
negative. But these behaviors are common for teens going through
It's important not to accuse your teen unfairly. Try
to find out why your teen's behavior has changed. Tell him or her that you
Experts recommend that parents look for a pattern or a number of changes in
appearance, behavior, and attitude, not just one or two of the changes listed here.
Change in appearance
- Less attention paid to dressing and
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight
- Red and glassy eyes and frequent use of eyedrops and breath
Change in behavior
- Decreased attendance and performance at
- Loss of interest in school, sports, or other
- Newly developed secrecy, or deceptive or sneaky
- Withdrawal from family and friends
friends and reluctance to introduce them
- Lying or
Change in attitude
- Disrespectful behavior
- A mood or attitude
that is getting worse
- Lack of concern about the future
Any use of alcohol, cigarettes,
or drugs in childhood or the teen years is a problem, unless
it turns out to be a one-time event. If you suspect or see signs that
your teen is using substances, check it out. Don't wait for it to become a
A home drug screening test provides immediate, early information about whether a
urine sample contains drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana. But it does not show which drug has been used, and some tests are inaccurate.
- Substance Abuse: Dealing With Teen Substance Use.