How To Detect Teenage Drug Use

“Just Say No” is such a simple concept. Preach it! Teach it! Scream the words until you’re blue in the face! Sure, it may sound great, but the unfortunate truth is that this suggestion holds little barring as to whether our teens will actually choose to avoid illicit substances. Peer pressure is king throughout adolescence, and unless parents know what to look for, they run the risk of missing the signs and drug and alcohol use completely.


1 – Have you noticed money going missing? This may be a sign that your teen is beginning to dabble with drug or alcohol use. If your teen is beginning to take cash from your purse or wallet on a regular basis, you may believe that you’ve simply misplaced the money by accident. As the problem starts to occur with more frequency and in larger amounts, it may be time to confront your teen about your suspicions.

2 – Has your teen begun associating with a different crowd? This can be a fairly accurate indicator, especially in cases where your teen begins hanging out with kids who get into regular trouble. If your teen’s friends appear disrespectful, unconcerned with studies and/or appearance, it should be seen as a warning that they are headed down the wrong path.

3 – Are your teen’s grades beginning to slip? Whether or not your teen has ever been an honor roll student, a drop in grades should be viewed as a sure sign that something is amiss. You know what your child is capable of. If they are not realizing their potential, drug or alcohol use may be to blame!

4 – Though changes in appetite are pretty typical in adolescents, extreme fluctuations in one direction or another may point to substance abuse issues. Where some drugs may leave users famished, others will alleviate the desire to eat completely. If you begin to notice this on a regular basis, it may be time to take a closer look into your child’s extracurricular activities.

5 – Keep a close eye on your teen’s behavior. Though most teens will act out at some point or another, if they tend to lash out on a regular basis, sleep excessively, exhibit signs of paranoia or appear disinterested in family get-togethers, you are staring at a red flag.

Need Help?

If you suspect your teen of drug or alcohol use, Decision Point is the place to call. With a team of seasoned addiction specialists available to assess and address each patient’s individual needs, you can count on Decision Point to have your teen sober, smiling, and on the fast track to recovery in no time.