The onset of alcohol and drug addiction can occur at any time but typically stems from childhood or young adult years. If, despite all efforts to quit on his or her own, a young adult continues to engage in drug or alcohol abuse, this is a clear-cut sign that he or she is addicted. Some symptoms are purely physical: your child may start to experience withdrawal symptoms between instances of drug or alcohol abuse, causing him or her to shake, sweat or appear otherwise restless and anxious. On the other hand, as a parent, you may have noticed that your teenager’s behavior has subtly yet violently shifted for reasons that are not necessarily readily apparent. Below, you’ll find out how you can tell if your teen has a drug or alcohol addiction.
Academic or Professional Decline
One early sign of drug or alcohol abuse is the decline in academic or professional performance. When your loved one’s grades start to slip dramatically and you cannot identify any other causes, he or she may well be addicted to drugs or alcohol. If he or she misses classes, skips school or is consistently tardy (or a no-show) at work, as a parent, you must step in to address the situation in a loving but firm manner.
Altered Personal Hygiene, Eating and Sleeping Habits
General listlessness could just be a passing phase, it’s true. However, if your teenager is behaving in a way that is alarmingly different from the norm, you had best pay close attention. Waning personal hygiene, a lack of interest in eating and irregular sleeping patterns can each indicate that your loved one is in the throes of drug or alcohol abuse. Any of these symptoms, on their own, merit looking into, but if you notice these occurring in conjunction, you will most likely need to step in to break the cycle.
Deterioration of Social and Familial Relationships
Another sign of alcohol or drug abuse is the downturn in the quality of your teenager’s relationships with friends and family members (including you). You may observe your loved one hanging out with a new peer group, of different or even questionable description. In such instances, adolescent behavior is prone to rapid change. This can lead to conflict with old friends and, ultimately, bring about the destruction of these friendships. In addition, your loved one may distance him or herself from you and the rest of his or her family, possibly exhibiting violent behaviors.
If your teen is suffering from substance abuse, the implementation of drug and alcohol addiction treatments can restore him or her to a healthy and productive life. But you must not wait; the earlier the intervention, the better. At South Coast Counseling, our professional alcohol and drug rehab counselors are ideally suited to effectively and compassionately helping your loved one. Please reach out to us immediately if you believe your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol. Our inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment rehab center is waiting to deliver to your loved one a lasting recovery in the safest environment possible.