Teen drug use is on the rise. You may not think it’s a big deal, but if someone you know is experimenting with drugs, even occasionally, he or she is on a track to disaster. If you see any signs of drug use, get help for your friend, before it’s too late.
Changes: The biggest sign of drug use is any change in attitude, looks, or behavior. Any change in how a person acts can be a sign that something is wrong. While it may not always be drugs, get your friend talking about what is going on in his or her life.
Emotional Signs: If you friend who is always quiet and shy becomes outgoing or aggressive, drugs may be involved. The same can go for a friend who is always friendly or loud becoming withdrawn or sullen. If your friend loses interest in hobbies, activities, or relationships, it may point to drug use as well. Acting apathetic or defensive can also be signals to look out for.
Physical Signs: Drugs affect people differently, but some common effects on the body include: runny nose, constant sniffling, puffy skin, scratching, red or bloodshot eyes, dilated or constricted pupils, decreased appetite, weight loss, change in skin pallor, slurred speech, or marks on the arms or legs to indicate needle use. Your friend may try to hide or explain away these symptoms. Don’t be fooled.
Behavioral Signs: Drug use often leads to a lack of appetite and decrease in personal hygiene and grooming standards. Your friend may skip out on activities, school, or family events. Teenagers abusing drugs may spend a lot of time alone, often sleeping. Your friend may stay up very late at night, and then sleep much longer during the day.
Risk-taking behavior is a major sign of drug use. Teenagers may take risks with driving, physical competitions, fighting, or sexually. Drug abuse leads to financial problems. Be aware of a friend who seeks to borrow money, or make money quickly.
It can be so hard to see these drug abuse signs in those you love. It’s easy to write off some of these symptoms as stress with school or family, relationships, depression, or even just teenage angst. Ignoring signs of drug use could lead your friend down a path that cannot be turned around easily. The sooner your friend gets help, the better chance he or she has of recovery and a happy life. Don’t close your eyes to these signs. Refer your friend to a doctor, counselor, or other adult you both trust. Don’t let a friend miss out on the only life he or she gets.
Adults and youth can take a step in the right direction and help with substance abuse prevention by Joining us today at LiveFree!