Every parent loves to watch their teenager grow into responsible and well-rounded young adults. However, those teenage years can be a challenging part of your life and your teen’s. Naturally, your teen would want more independence, and it’s easy to interpret such instances as typical teenage behavior. Unfortunately, those moments could be their silent cries for help. Teenage substance abuse and addiction are rising at an alarming rate, especially as teens all over search for coping mechanisms to handle the tough aspects of their lives. Over 860,000 adolescents are reportedly in need of addiction treatment but have not received it. Below are some warning signs to help you know if your teen is struggling with an addiction.
- Social withdrawal
Teens begin to experience emotional, physical, and mental changes that are often complicated to navigate. Usually, some teens choose to withdraw or disconnect from the people around them. It’s a natural thing to do. You might have done so during your teenage years. However, it could indicate a more serious sign that your child might have or is developing an addiction.
If your child starts setting boundaries, such as restricting you from entering their rooms or questioning their whereabouts, it could signify that they are hiding something. Breaking curfews, sneaking out, and getting into unusual trouble are all potential signs of a substance abuse problem.
While you might not want to jump the gun and worsen the situation, you must also focus on your gut instincts. Approach your child with care so that they can open up to you.
- Poor school performance
Every parent wants their child to succeed at school and make the best grades possible. A sharp decline in your child’s academic performance could also signify a potential struggle with addiction, especially if they have a stellar track record. While it is advisable not to directly correlate addiction and poor school performance, it could still be one of the many factors. Nonetheless, if your suspicions turn out to be correct, you can stage an early substance abuse intervention to help your teenager set their lives back on track.
- Sudden changes in their friend group
While you might not know everyone your teenager interacts with, you still know their closest friends. Second to you, your teenager’s friends are extremely influential in their lives. Sometimes, they are the key to helping you identify if they are struggling with an addiction.
If your child has suddenly changed their friend group with no explanation or has made some new friends with shady personalities, it’s perfectly normal to be alarmed. If you suspect that your child is being negatively influenced by a friend or a group of friends, you can voice your opinions to allow your child to reconsider that person’s influence in their life.
Several other signs could also indicate that your child might have a substance abuse problem. Always ensure that when you express your desire to help them, you do so from a place of love instead of judgment.