When your child enters their teenage years, they go through a lot of changes and it can be hard to tell if something is wrong if wrong with them. Drug addiction usually presents the same symptoms in teens as there are in adults. However, there are a few noticeable signs that are more common in teenagers who are addicted to drugs.
1. Things Go Missing
Drug addiction is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. The NIDA estimates that health and crime costs for substance abuse to be over $600 billion, making it very expensive for everyone involved. Most teens do not make enough money to sustain a drug habit and those who are addicted will often resort to stealing from their family.
Usually, this entails stealing cash from the purses and wallets of their parents. If the cash isn’t enough, or has become too noticeable, then they may resort to taking things with the intent to sell them. In any case, things might go missing as the teen falls deeper into addiction.
2. Impact on Academics
It is very rare that drug addiction has little impact on a teen’s school life. Addiction is an all-consuming and demanding disease, making it very difficult for the person to focus on other aspects of their life. For teens with drug addictions, academics are typically the last thing on their mind.
The impact on their academics may begin slowly, with minor drops in grades or late assignments. From there, it can grow into failing grades, absenteeism, and possibly dropping out altogether. There may even be reports from school about their behavior or an increase in instances of reprimands like suspensions.
3. Changes in Friendships
As addiction develops a stronger hold over the person, they tend to push away their friends and family. Those closest to the teenager may be the first to notice changes in their behavior as they pull away. Interaction may gradually decrease before the teen completely cuts off any and all contact with their friends. They may have new people in their lives who they may be reluctant or flat out refuse to introduce to their current friends and family.
4. Personality Changes
While this may seem like a typical sign of being a teenager, the changes drug addiction has on the brain are quite noticeable. Through the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study being conducted by the NIDA and other federal institutes, it is known that the brain is still in development well into a person’s twenties.
Any changes made to the brain’s chemical structure, which is a trait of drug addiction according to the DEA, can impede or alter its development. As a result, drug abuse during a person’s teenage years can result in noticeable personality changes, which may be an almost immediate effect.
If you or a loved one has been given a dual diagnosis, please consider contacting us through our website or calling us at 800-592-1193. You can speak with one of our caring specialists and learn about your treatment options.
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