The first step to helping anyone recover from substance abuse is by identifying the problem itself. But, this isn't as straightforward a process as some may believe. When drug addiction truly takes hold, some people will do everything in their power to conceal their habit from their loved ones, all so they can keep using.
There are certain behavioral signs, though, that may indicate that someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. In adults, these symptoms include an automatic defensiveness whenever someone references their consumption, or blaming other aspects of their life for the habit.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the behavioral changes in adult addicts can present themselves in teens, too. Your child may become more withdrawn from the family than usual, increasingly defensive about their personal space and evasive when asked about their plans.
"Teenagers enjoy privacy, but exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering their rooms or knowing where they go with their friends might indicate drug use," the source states.
In addition, a noticeable decline in academic performance and negligence of their personal appearance could also signify that something else is commanding your teen's attention.
One of the biggest obstacles to identifying your child's addiction may be a reluctance to accept the problem yourself. No parent wants to discover that their son or daughter has become embroiled in substance abuse, largely out of fear for what it could mean for their child.
As a parent, though, the best thing you can do for your child is reach out to him or her if you are concerned about this issue. Should you discover that your suspicions are correct, and aren't sure how to proceed with the situation, consider enlisting the help of professional interventionists. Our youth intervention services have been specifically developed to reach out to teen addicts, so that their addictions don't define the rest of their lives.