As a parent, you are probably raising a teen and experiencing some challenges that make you feel like it's not for the faint-hearted. Perhaps this is because your teen is rapidly growing, and many changes occur. You may even struggle to explain the different mood swings and behavior changes you see.

You might conclude that it's natural your teen is experiencing adolescence, but on the other hand, your intuition might point out that your teen is into substance abuse. You need to have precise information and know the difference. Below are seven common signs of teen substance abuse.

School Performance

Teens who abuse drugs, whether alcohol or marijuana, among others and fall into addiction, their school performance will be poor. You will notice that the grades have gone down, and if you have been to school, you may get information that your teen school attendance is bad.

Teens with substance abuse problems would come late to school or fail to appear in school at all, even if they left home in the morning. Teachers may start complaining about your teen's attentiveness during class sessions. When this happens, it indicates that your teen is abusing drugs, and you need to be alert.

Changes in Mood

Mood swings are normal, especially in teens who are developing into adulthood. Still, it's vital to notice if the mood swings are constant and also come with some weird behavioral changes like:

  • Being aggressive or angry
  • Change of friends
  • Sleeping too much
  • Breaking Rules

These and many others indicate that your child is taking alcohol or abusing some form of drugs. Knowing and learning all these various signs will help you to understand when you seek the help of a professional. Find an addiction treatment in Mississippi that offer programs that treat alcoholism, Xanax addiction, Heroin addiction, and many more.

They have certified addiction medicine doctors and licensed clinicians whose goal is to see their clients get well physiologically and spiritually.

Physical Changes

Changes in physical appearance also indicate that your child is into drug or alcohol abuse. Some of these changes are:

  • Abnormal body odor
  • Looking Untidy
  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes
  • Sudden weight loss or gain

These and other signs will vary depending on the kind of substance your child is abusing. All these are noticeable signs that, as a parent, you can see and tell that your teen is abusing drugs.

Valuables or Medication Missing

In many cases, people who abuse drugs tend to commit theft, especially if they do not have money to buy the pills. You should be keen if you have any prescriptions in your house, and if by any chance they go missing, then your teen is using them.

The same applies to money or your valuables. If you notice some of these are missing, your teen could be stealing them or selling them to buy drugs. People grappling with substance abuse tend to be desperate, which means they will do anything to get their next batch.

Prolonged Absence and Withdrawal from Family

A teen undergoing substance abuse will often withdraw from family or even stay out for a longer period. It starts with avoiding or missing family gatherings, being reluctant to eat together as a family, and disconnecting from other siblings.

There are also instances whereby your child will stay out or prefer spending the night at a friend's house, which they will frequently do. When this happens, your teen is probably dealing with the aftermath of the substance abuse.

Losing Interest in Favorite Activities

For instance, if your teen loves playing soccer so much, and it suddenly happens they lose interest, that could be a sign that your teen is into substance abuse. Once your teen is into drug or alcohol abuse, they will stop doing their favorite activities and choose to keep to themselves.

Your teen will prefer being alone. At that time, they will be busy drinking or abusing drugs.

Sudden Personality Change

Drug abuse often has various effects, and personality change is among them. If you notice that your teenager has started acting dishonestly, saying outright lies which is something they never did before, then it’s a sign they are into drug abuse.

Your teen may become less talkative, anxious, and even more suspicious when asked questions.


If you notice these changes in your teen, do not assume and say they are experiencing adolescence. Avoid panicking and jumping to conclusions. Instead, try to help your teenager by having an open talk with your teen, listening as they express their feelings, and later seeking professional help.