Early Warning Signs of Teen Substance Use

If young people spend time with other teens who are engaged in risky, unhealthy behaviors, they are more likely to engage in those behaviors themselves. When it comes to common social behaviors signs of drug use like drinking or smoking, it might be difficult to determine if there’s an addiction problem. What looks like addiction could be an experimental phase or a form of stress management.

Look for changes in health

They may display dilated pupils, increased energy, and a fast breathing rate. If users snort the drug, nasal congestion is a common sign of use. Snorting drugs like cocaine can damage the mucous membrane inside the nose. Knowing these signs can help to identify whether a loved one may be using drugs and risking harmful consequences to their health, school, job, and family life. Sometimes called the “opioid epidemic,” addiction to opioid prescription pain medicines has reached an alarming rate across the United States.

  • Understanding the signs and symptoms of drug addiction is the first step towards getting help.
  • It’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you think you or your child is developing SUD.
  • When drug use becomes a priority in someone’s life, hygiene and outward appearance may become less and less important.
  • You can use these criteria to alert you to a possible addiction or physical dependence on a drug.
  • Many of the effects of drug addiction are similar, no matter what substance someone uses.

How can I prevent substance use disorder?

Substance abuse treatment can help people get sober and learn life-long coping skills to prevent relapse. Other common signs include mood swings and erratic behavior as well as being negative, argumentative, paranoid, confused, destructive, or anxious. Kids who are using drugs also tend to overreact to criticism, act rebellious, have poor hygiene, and share few if any details about their personal life. Short-term medical use of opioid painkillers can help to manage severe pain after an accident or surgery, for example.

Signs of Drug Addiction in Adults

Even if their poor behavior is not related to drugs, it is an indicator that there is a problem. Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Addiction vs. Misuse and Tolerance

what are warning signs of drug use

You devote increasing amounts of time planning to get drugs or worrying about where your next dose is coming from. You find yourself rummaging through other people’s medicine cabinets in search of drugs. People can speak with a primary care doctor if they experience SUD symptoms or if they are concerned about a loved one who may have an SUD. Whether you’re looking for a specific type of rehab treatment, substance-related info., or additional guides, below are some of our most popular and recommended resources. Opioids are narcotic, painkilling drugs produced from opium or made synthetically. This class of drugs includes, among others, heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, fentanyl and oxycodone.

  • As your drug use increases, you may find that it’s increasingly difficult to go without the drug.
  • If you find smoking devices, needles, oil vaporizers, or stashes of different devices needed for drug use, you may want to discuss with your loved one what those items are and why they have them.
  • They also may have a poor attitude toward sports or other activities they used to enjoy or even struggle to remember things.

Warning signs of commonly abused prescription drugs

However, regular or longer-term use of opioids can lead to addiction. Misuse of these drugs or taking someone else’s medication can have dangerous—even deadly—consequences. Explore the warning signs and symptoms and learn how substance abuse problems develop.

what are warning signs of drug use

Feelings of hopelessness and despair may accompany withdrawal symptoms like extreme lethargy, which can cause someone to feel unmotivated or unable to overcome addiction. If someone misuses drugs or alcohol, they may exhibit numerous physical signs of drug abuse. Some of these signs may be readily apparent, while others are easily hidden or occur as gradual changes. Addiction is a disease requiring professional help to heal and begin long-term recovery. Living in active addiction has medical, physical, relational, financial, legal, emotional, and even generational ramifications.

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When your teen has a drug problem