Is my teen just moody or… Could it be a sign of drug use?
Hi I’m Dr. Laura Bokar,
Welcome to Fox Valley Institute.
If you ever wondered about problems related to teens using drugs, you’re not alone! We offer help. Below you will find helpful information that will identify the behaviors of teens using drugs.
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Dr. Laura L. Bokar
Teen Mood Swings or Teen Drug Use
Mood swings are a defining feature of adolescence, but sometimes they can be a sign that your teen is struggling with something more serious, such as drug abuse. The chemicals in drugs change the way the brain processes information, which can result in changes in behavior and personality.
Parents often observe the following signs in teens who are struggling with substance abuse:
- Change in mood and personality. Your teen may experience irritability, defensiveness, anxiety, depression, paranoia, or aggression. They may seem more unpredictable, secretive, or irrational than usual.
- Isolation from the family. Your teen may avoid spending time at home, and when they are at home, they stay in their room. They may avoid talking to you or making eye contact upon returning home.
- Change in friend group. Your teen suddenly is hanging out with kids that you don’t know, and they may lose contact with their other friends.
- Change in sleeping and eating patterns. Teachers may comment that your teen is falling asleep in class, and you may notice your teen is awake all night. Your teen may binge on junk food when they get home, or you may notice a significant weight loss or gain.
- Loss of interest in activities. Your teen may seem unmotivated to do the things that they used to enjoy or drop out of their activities.
- Change in hygiene or appearance. You may notice that your teen smells like smoke or alcohol, or that your teen suddenly wears a lot of cologne. Your teen may put less effort into their grooming, and they generally may look less healthy.
- Change in spending habits. Your teen may be using money more quickly, or you may notice that cash is missing from your wallet.
- Neglecting responsibilities. Your teen’s grades may drop, and they may not show up for appointments and other responsibilities
If you are concerned that your teen may be showing signs of drug abuse, you are not alone and help is available.
An evaluation by your family physician is a great place to start. Additionally, contact Fox Valley Institute in Naperville. We have several therapists on staff who specialize in substance abuse and the underlying issues that contribute to substance abuse. Substance abuse affects the whole family. We can offer support, not only to your teen, but to you as well.
Please call 630.352.0102.
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