Testing boundaries, making mistakes and figuring out identity are normal behaviors for teenagers. Even the best of teens have moments of rebellion or lack of judgment. Kids are going through a lot of emotional and mental development.
Unfortunately, some may try the drug scene and become hooked. If your teen does not get help now, he or she can end up with a shattered future, losing out on education and employment opportunities and getting mixed up with the law instead. Look for these telltale signs your teen is into drugs.
Extreme mood swings
Mood swings are ordinary, but extreme emotions are not. For example, frequent rage, hatred toward loved ones and prolonged depression may signify drug use. Others include isolation, anxiety, mental checkout and self-harm. Sometimes these can be the result of relationship loss, bullying, abuse or mental illness, so check for these causes first. They can also be the reasons for drug use, so addressing them will probably end the drug problem.
Your teen will likely make a new set of friends and have new tastes in fashion, music and entertainment. Other lifestyle changes include:
- More money to spend
- Problems with sleep
- Decrease in appetite, leading to weight loss
- Poor grooming habits
Once the problem escalates, your teen's personality can change dramatically. Your child may consistently lie, refuse conversation, stay away from home and become argumentative over everything. Watch out for efforts to hide drug use, such as wearing heavy fragrances, avoiding eye contact, using eye drops and locking doors. Also, notice if your teen shakes a lot or has worsened speech and coordination.
Trouble with rules
Drugs inevitably lead to breaking numerous rules at home, at school or in the community. Your teen may skip class or receive more detentions or a suspension. Stealing, driving while impaired and reckless behaviors are other common forms of criminal activity.
Hopefully, you will notice these signs before they lead to an arrest and court proceedings. Even then, it is not too late. A criminal defense attorney can help your teen receive rehabilitation and a sealed record so your child can have a shot at a good future.