Addiction is a serious problem that can affect teenagers at any time. The reason a teen develops an addiction is not always clear. A teen will usually try to hide the addiction from the family in order to avoid a conflict. Addictions become increasingly difficult to hide as the problem grows. There are five signs that a teenager could be struggling with an addiction.
One of the first signs a teen might have an addiction is social withdraw. This means the teen no longer interacts with family and friends normally. It could even mean remaining isolated in a room for days at a time. Social withdraw is a sign that a teen is starting to choose the addiction over friends, family and other responsibilities.
Money or Valuables Are Missing
Drugs and alcohol cost money. Teens with a substance abuse problem will need increasing amounts of drugs or alcohol as the body adapts to the chemicals. Teens often start to steal money from parents or siblings to feed the habit. A teen might even steal valuable items like jewelry to trade or sell. This is frequently a sign of addiction.
Drugs and alcohol affect the brain. It can cause emotional and psychological problems especially in teenagers who are still developing. Erratic behavior can indicate addiction. Mood swings from happy to sad are one sign. Changing opinions suddenly, losing interest in normal hobbies and flying into a rage are also symptoms the teen could be struggling with an addiction.
Changes in Physical Appearance
Drug and alcohol abuse affect the body in many ways. Changes in physical appearance could indicate a substance abuse problem. Unexpected weight loss, pale skin and red eyes can be caused by drugs affecting the body. An unkempt appearance occurs when the teen stops caring about personal hygiene while feeding the addiction. Parents should immediately look into addiction treatment when physical changes occur because it could indicate the addiction is damaging the body.
Part of the cycle of addiction in teenagers and even adults is a lack of interest in things even if they are important. School and grades usually start to suffer when a teenager is struggling with addiction. Students might stop going to school or might stop participating in class. Teenagers who have unusually low grades not in line with previous performance could have a substance abuse problem.
Teenagers struggling with addiction will need some type of treatment to recover fully. It is never enough to believe a teen will stop without assistance. Treatment centers can provide a teen with all the tools and support necessary to break an addiction.