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Signs Your Teen Is Using Drugs

a mother confronts her teen about her suspected drug use

Mental health concerns and teen drug abuse often go hand-in-hand. When the two occur together, they are diagnosed as co-occurring disorders. If you suspect your teen is using drugs, a treatment center that specializes in co-occurring disorders can provide the support they need to heal.

Teen drug use is often a sign of untreated mental health concerns. Call 888.597.2807 today for more information about the teen treatment programs available at Imagine Boise.

Teen Drug Abuse and Mental Health Are Connected

There can be a direct connection between teen mental health and teen drug use. Often, teens who struggle with mental health concerns like depression or anxiety have a hard time coping with their thoughts and feelings.

When teens struggling with mental health experiment with drugs, they may experience a sense of relief. The effect drugs have on the mind and body can help to numb or distract from unwanted thoughts and feelings. With regular drug use, it can be easy for a teen to develop a dependence on the substance they’ve been using.

Using drugs to self-medicate untreated mental health concerns is one way that co-occurring disorders can come about.

Signs of Drug Use in Teens

The teenage years come with plenty of challenges. Parents might have a hard time distinguishing between a normal teen attitude and something more concerning. It’s normal for a teenager to sometimes challenge their parents’ authority and push boundaries.

However, ongoing problematic behavior that creates conflict at home or leaves you feeling concerned for your teen’s well-being is a sign that something isn’t right.

Not every teen using drugs will exhibit all the signs and symptoms listed here, but some of the most common signs of drug use in teens that parents should know to watch for include:

  • Sudden changes in friend groups
  • Changes in physical appearance or health
  • Changes in school attendance and performance
  • Loss of interest in former hobbies
  • Avoiding time with family
  • Increased conflict or rule-breaking
  • Emotional outbursts or defensive reactions

With ongoing drug use, you’ll likely see changes in their sleeping and eating habits. Paying attention to the appearance of a teen’s pupils, sudden weight loss or gain, and other physical signs can help you gauge whether drug use is involved.

Symptoms Of Teen Drug Abuse To Watch For

In addition to a teen’s physical appearance, health, and activities, there are other telltale symptoms of teen drug abuse that every parent should know to watch for. You might not immediately think of these as being connected to teen drug use, which is why parents need to be informed.

Parents concerned about teen drug abuse should look out for:

  • Missing medications
  • Missing money
  • Requests for money
  • Burnt spoons, syringes, and pipes
  • Bits of foil or plastic
  • Presence of powder or pills

It’s not uncommon for a teen who is using drugs to raid a parent’s medicine cabinet or take money without asking. Knowing about common types of drug paraphernalia can help you recognize signs you might otherwise miss.

Get Help for Teen Drug Abuse at Imagine Boise

If you’re seeing symptoms of teen drug abuse at home, don’t ignore the signs. Both drug use and mental health conditions require professional help to treat. A teenager showing the signs of teen drug use is likely to continue using drugs, resulting in serious negative impacts on their relationships, academics, and general well-being.

Imagine Boise is a teen outpatient mental and behavioral health treatment center. We offer treatment for teen drug abuse and mental health concerns.

Noticing the signs of teen drug use can be alarming, but you’re not alone. The compassionate professionals at Imagine Boise work with parents to help teens get their lives and health back on track.

Give us a call today at 888.597.2807 to learn more about how treatment at Imagine Boise can help your teen. You can also fill out our online form and let us get back to you.