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Is My Teen on Drugs? What To Do When Your Child is Using

Is My Teen on Drugs? What To Do When Your Child is Using

As a parent, you want what is best for your child, but abusing drugs is not part of this picture.

You want your child to be happy, healthy, and the best person that they can be, but drugs may be getting in the way of this. Unfortunately, drug abuse can be a downward spiral and negatively impact several aspects of your child’s life. If you suspect your teen is doing drugs, it is time to learn the signs of abuse so that you can get them help before matters get worse.

Signs Your Teenager Is Doing Drugs

While many teenagers try drinking, doing drugs is another issue. Teenagers can be moody and distant by nature, so it can sometimes be difficult to tell if your teen is on drugs or just going through a rough phase. Because drug abuse is a serious problem that requires immediate attention, it is important that you are able to recognize drug abuse in your teen as soon as possible.

Some signs your teenager is doing drugs include:

  • Lying or secretive behavior
  • Hanging out with “the wrong crowd” or becoming socially withdrawn
  • Sudden and drastic changes in overall behavior
  • Neglecting their physical appearance
  • Wearing long sleeves to cover needle marks
  • Drastic changes in weight
  • Bloodshot, red, or glossy eyes with dilated or pinpoint pupils
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Abnormal mood changes
  • Memory problems or abnormal cognitive functioning
  • Stealing money to buy drugs
  • Smelling like alcohol or smoke
  • Sudden neglect of responsibilities or trouble in school

Being the parent of a teenager certainly isn’t easy, but if you believe your teen is on drugs, you should take action sooner rather than later.

What to Do If Your Teen is On Drugs

If your teenager is on drugs, it is important that as their parent, you step in. As a detox center in the Treasure Coast, we know all too well that drug use is often a downward spiral, and if left untreated, matters will likely get worse.

Calmly Talk to Them

The first step if you believe your teenager is on drugs is to talk to them. Try to do this calmly and without being judgmental or accusatory. They might push you away, but it is important to open the gates of communication. While it may be uncomfortable at first, your teenager will be more likely to eventually open up if you are able to discuss this with them calmly.

Offer Support

While it is natural to be upset and even angry, you need to let your teenager know that you are here to support them. Reassure them that you are there for them and you have their best interests in mind. Once again, they may blow you off initially, but if they know that they have your support, they will be more likely to come to you than if you yelled at them.

Set Boundaries

Many parents unknowingly enable their child’s drug use by turning the other cheek, not setting boundaries, and cleaning up their messes. This relationship may be especially common when it comes to teenagers who may already be used to pushing their parents’ boundaries. Instead of letting your teen get away with such behavior, it is time to set clear boundaries and start following through.

Educate Yourself & Them

It is important to not only recognize drug use in your teenager, but to learn about it. Addiction is a disease that can be hard to understand if you do not struggle with it yourself. Once you have a better understanding yourself, you should also approach your child about it. Some teens use drugs without having a full understanding of the long-term implications and effects.

Get Them Help

Let’s face it, not every teenager wants to talk to their parents about their issues. If you cannot seem to get through to your teen, it may be time to get outside help. Ask them if there is another adult that they feel comfortable talking to. If your teen struggles with poor mental health on top of using drugs, their mental health may be the root cause of their problems. Try to get them to talk to a psychologist or join some sort of support group. If a drug addiction has developed, it may be time to look into an addiction treatment center for professional help.

At Banyan Detox Stuart, we know that finding out your teenager is on drugs can be scary and overwhelming, but there is hope. We offer various types of addiction treatment programs for those 18 and older to help young adults get their lives back on track after a substance abuse disorder has occurred.

If you want to get more information on our programs or how we may be able to help your young adult, call us immediately at 888-280-4763.


  1. NCBI - Substance Abuse Among Older Adults
  2. Psychiatric Times - Substance Abuse in Aging and Elderly Adults
  3. SAMHSA - Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings
  4. AARP - Prescription Drug Abuse among Older Adults
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Is My Teen on Drugs? What To Do When Your Child is Using
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