Millions of teens have tried an illegal drug by the time they graduate high school. So, if you suspect your child has at least used drugs, you may be right. How do you know when the occasional experiment becomes substance use disorder, though? When is it time to consider drug rehab, for that matter? These are important questions for parents to ask, and we would like to help answer them.
The statistics concerning teen drug abuse are frightening. For example, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about one in four high school seniors report non-medical use of a prescription drug within the past year. Moreover, every day, more than 3,200 teens aged 12–17 use an illicit drug for the first time.
Can Teens Become Addicted?
Anyone can develop a drug addiction, but, in some ways, teens are more susceptible and may need drug rehab. They deal with peer pressures that make them try new drugs to fit in with the “crowd.”
In fact, there are many reasons why teens might turn to drugs or alcohol. For example, they could get caught up in drugs because they’re self-medicating to cope with undiagnosed mental health issues. Whatever the reason, it’s important to get help if your teen is struggling with substance abuse.
Teen brains are also still developing, and they are unsure of themselves. They take criticism more personally and look for ways to feel better. A teen lacks mature judgment that might make an adult walkway from smoking, drug, or alcohol use.
Also, the earlier someone starts using drugs, the more likely it is that they continue into adulthood. Maybe they don’t develop a substance use disorder while they are young, but they may later in life and need drug rehab as adults.
How Does Substance Use Affect Teens?
There are many signs that your teen might be abusing drugs or alcohol. For example, they might start skipping school or extracurricular activities, their grades might slip, or they might start hanging out with a new crowd. If you’re worried that your teen might be abusing drugs or alcohol, it’s important to talk to them about it.
Using any substance, whether it’s tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, can affect the development of the brain at this stage in life. They can also increase this person’s risk of certain illnesses as they get older, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders.
Often teens combine drug use with other risky behaviors, too, like unprotected sex and dangerous driving.
What Should You Watch For in Teens?
It’s likely every parent worries at some point about their child and their need for drug rehab, but how can you tell? Are there signs that indicate a problem?
It’s not easy to tell if a teen is just being a teen or if there are drugs involved in their behavior. Parents can keep an eye out for certain telltale signs, though, including:
- Withdrawal – If your child shows some common side effects of withdrawal such as paranoia, vomiting, chills, fever, and jumpiness, it might mean drug use, especially if it happens more than once.
- Physical signs of drug use – Things like red eyes, pinpoint pupils, and going days without sleep are all possible indicators of drug use. You might notice a specific smell, too, or they seem confused and irritable.
- Mood swings – From sad and withdrawn to euphoric in a short time is certainly an indicator that they took something to feel better.
- Aggression – They may be physically aggressive after taking a drug, especially if you challenge them about their behavior or try to stop them from going out.
At the same time, consider the risk factors for your teen. Do they have a hard time making friends? Is there a history of drug or alcohol abuse in the family? Have they experienced some trauma?
If you suspect your teen has a substance abuse disorder, you can talk to experts about it and get advice. The San Antonio Recovery Center is a drug rehab that helps whole families heal from addiction.
Drug Rehab at San Antonio Recovery Center
In our addiction treatment center, we provide a wide range of services such as:
- 12-step meetings
- Residential care
- Family therapy
- 90-day treatment programs
- Dual diagnosis treatment
We believe that drug rehab should be affordable and can work with you to verify your insurance. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we think good treatment programs provide a full spectrum of care that includes evidence-based therapeutic approaches along with spiritual healing.
Parents shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions about teen drug use. We are here to help. Give San Antonio Recovery Center a call today at 866.957.7885.