How to recognize drug addiction in a teenager?

Behavioral and mood changes in adolescents are inevitable, and this is a normal part of adulting. Indeed, practice shows that almost all families are faced with an increase in conflicts, various kinds of deviations in children over 14 years old. This is due to the need for self-dependence, and at the same time, the actual need to join a group of their own kind, to feel the unity with the microsocial group. That is why there are informal communities and adolescent subcultures formed.

Major diagnostic problems

It can be hard to recognize whether a child is using drugs precisely because of the specific behavior of adolescents and young people up to 19-21 years old: many manifestations of addiction are mixed with natural symptoms of growing up and separation from parents, and some of them clearly resemble mental disorders.

It is also important to know that drug addiction among young people is most often characterized by a pathological craving for smoking mixtures, and this is not only about marijuana. The market today is full of so-called designer drugs: new soil impregnations are being developed regularly, as the services are able to recognize the formulas of the substances and ban them. And if expensive cocaine or LSD are well known even to non-specialists, then the manifestations of dependence on the new smoking mixture can be unknown to parents. These drugs are very popular among young people due to their availability. Therefore, it is important to know several criteria that will help to recognize and distinguish drug addiction in young people.

Manifestations indicating potential drug use

The first thing that can prompt parents and relatives to suspect possible addiction is slang. And it’s not about common youth slang; specific terms can cause concern in the presence of other behavioral deviations, atypical emotional reactions, and other symptoms.

Of course, any paraphernalia that could potentially indicate drug use should raise suspicion: if you find syringes, a plastic bottle with a hole, or even bags of substances of unknown origin in a teen's room it is worth having a conversation with him.

There are also non-obvious symptoms that may imply drug addiction:

●      severe insomnia;
●      impaired appetite;
●      groundless euphoria or, on the contrary, apathy, indifference, and dark mood;
●      lack of interest in previous hobbies;
●      abrupt change of social circle;
●      being away from home for a long time, with-draw behavior;
●      anger, aggressiveness;
●      talkativeness or, on the contrary, reticence;
●      desire to stay alone in silence, darkness;
●      increased thirst, appetite;
●      narrowed or dilated pupils;
●      skin pallor;
●      retardation, slurred speech;
●      perceptual disorder;
●      paranoid thoughts;
●      motion activity;
●      monotonous and unproductive activity.

It is important to understand that there are many other specific signs and you should contact a specialist at the slightest suspicion. We recommend that you get the advice of an expert specializing in chemical addiction: this will help you get answers to all questions, including those related to mental illness and personality disorders, and will also allow you not to waste time if addiction does occur. To receive a piece of advice, you can contact a specialist of our Foundation. Give us a call at the specified phone number or use a call back option.