Monday, October 24, 2005

Signs and Symptoms of Teenage Drug Use - Substance Abuse

I spoke with Amy recently on Guide To Self (1640 AM, 5 pm, Monday through Friday) about ADHD and drug abuse and was unable due to time to get to the changes of behavior and the symptom of drug abuse. I have listed below the symptoms and signs to look for in your loved ones, in particular your children and teens. I’ll post these on my blog at so you can have a written copy of them.
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Sometimes our angels fall down. Yet our best bet is to help them to right themselves as quickly as possible. If your child is using substances, the less time you spend in denial, the more quickly your children can regain control over their lives.

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse in Teenagers

Changes in behavior:
  1. Missing school, declining grades, or discipline problems.

  2. Dropping old friends and getting new ones.

  3. Dropping outside activities such as sports, clubs and hobbies.

  4. Increasing secrecy.

  5. Unusual borrowing of cash.

  6. Sudden mood changes, irritability, rage and aggressiveness.

  7. Excessively talkative, rapid speech.

  8. Irresponsible behavior, poor judgment.

  9. Depression and sadness.

  10. Forgetfulness, slurred speech.

  11. Poor balance or coordination

  12. Involvement in activity to get the drug or money for drug – theft, break in, lying and extortion.

More direct evidence of use:
  1. Increased use of incense, room deodorant, or perfumes.

  2. Increased use of eye drops

  3. New use of mouthwash, gum or breath mints

  4. Drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, matches, lighters, razor blades, and so on. Don’t believe they are holding them for a friend.

  5. Increased accumulation of inhalable products – hairspray, nail polish, airplane glue, whip cream, correction fluid, and more

  6. Missing your prescription drugs – stimulants, mood stabilizers, narcotics, opiates.

It’s important to rule mental disorders in or out for yourself and your children. Many of us self-medicate as a way to reduce the symptoms of our depression, ADHD, anxiety and more. Here is a little more information on ADHD to help motivate you to get moving on a diagnosis. If you have a suspicion of a disorder, seek out help immediately. You can do anonymous, inexpensive testing to get a better idea with the proven tests at Guide To Self.
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Compared with adults who do not have ADHD, those individuals who have ADHD are significantly more likely to experience the following:
  1. being fired from their job

  2. having marital problems

  3. poor medical health

  4. serious motor accidents

  5. cigarette smoking

  6. drug abuse

  7. poor social skills.
All the best,

Dr. John
Guide To Self


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