As parents and grandparents of teens, you need to be aware of the choice of substances that teens abuse the most. Those two substances are alcohol and marijuana; including synthetic marijuana. 

So, how do you know if your teen is abusing these substances? Do you know the signs to look for? How about how to help your teen stop abusing these substances?

Risk factors and signs your teen is abusing alcohol or drugs

First, let’s look at the risk factors that teens have for substance or alcohol abuse. Why are some teens more likely than others to abuse substances and or alcohol? According to the National Institute of health, some of these risk factors include:

  • Low income
  • Little or no parental supervision
  • The availability of alcohol or substances
  • Friends or peers that abuse alcohol or substances
  • Early aggressive behaviors that are noticed at an early age

Once teens begin abusing alcohol or drugs; their growing adolescent brain keeps them caught in the trap of alcohol or substance abuse.

Now let’s look at the signs your teen may be abusing alcohol or drugs, these include:

  • Changes in mood, appearance, or sleep such as anger, despondence, or aggressiveness, sudden weight loss, frequent nose bleed, bloody and watery eyes, or sleeping more
  • Loss of interest in activities or old friends 
  • Breaking rules and curfew
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Irresponsible behavior
  • Asking for money frequently
  • Stealing
  • Locking their bedroom door
  • Secretive calls
  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Dropping grades
  • Skipping school or work

Physical signs include:

  • Runny or blood nose regularly
  • Bloodshot runny eyes
  • Disheveled appearance
  • Suspicion, prickliness, nervousness, fidgeting 
  • Difficulty in finishing tasks or staying focused
  • Wearing long sleeves in warm weather
  • Headaches
  • Change in pupil size
  • Bloated, Enlarged face
  • Lesions on lips or tongue

Any of these signs or symptoms could mean your teen is heading down a dangerous road of substance and or alcohol abuse. 

Health issues cause from substance and alcohol abuse

There are several health issues related to substance and alcohol abuse for teens. These include:

  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage
  • Ulcers
  • High blood pressure creating risk for stroke or heart attack
  • Anemia
  • Broken bones from accidents both physical and motor vehicle accidents
  • Risky behaviors regarding sex which can lead to HIV/Aids, Hepatitis, Venereal disease, and others such as pelvic inflammatory disease that can lead to cancer
  • Weakened immune system

How do you help your teen?

You will need to have a very candid conversation with your teen about the health issues that could arise, the damage to the brain and body, and financial issues for them if they abuse alcohol or drugs. Education is the best tool to prevent substance and or alcohol abuse. 
If they have already begun, then you may need to speak to them about recovery. At 449 Recovery we offer a constantly monitored detox program. Call us today (855) 435-7449 for more information on recovery. Our goal at 449 Recovery is to help every patient reach their recovery goals.