Should I Worry About My Teen and Drug Use?

There’s no more important role than being a parent. As a parent, you want your children to stay away from certain dangers. It’s completely understandable for these concerns to grow as your child becomes a teenager. In this post, you’ll learn if you should be worried about your teen and drug use.


If you’re worried about your teenager and drugs, it’s wise to know what causes drug usage. One of the leading causes of teen drug use is peer pressure. The Office of Adolescent Health found that, during 2015, 33% of high school students reported having at least one alcoholic beverage within the past 30 days. Considering that, your teen might be facing pressure to use alcohol or drugs from those around them. You can help prevent this problem by monitoring who your teen hangs out with. In extreme situations, Connections Academy points out that switching to online school can enact positive change: “When students have the opportunity to study in a safe online environment where socialization is customized to their individual needs and interests, they can rebuild their confidence and achieve maturity more readily.”

Furthermore, according to The Recovery Village, some of the underlying causes that can increase the likelihood of drug abuse include:

  • genetics
  • abusive parents
  • lack of parental involvement
  • traumatic life event
  • choice of friends
  • mental or emotional disorders
  • gender
  • nationality
  • family income level
  • location

It’s also wise to pay close attention to the films and TV shows your teenager watches. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids found that 45% of teens agree that certain films and TV shows make drug use seem cool. Therefore, it’s smart to keep a close eye on what your teenager is watching.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Use

As a parent, it makes sense to learn the signs and symptoms of teen drug use. These signs will vary and are dependent upon which drugs your teen might be using. General signs of drug use include worsening grades and being away from home more often. Parents suspecting alcohol use should check their teen’s clothes and breath.

Signs of marijuana usage often include random laughing fits or being excessively hungry. Marijuana smoke also has a distinct smell that’s fairly easy to detect. Common signs of a opioid addiction include frequent bouts of tiredness and mood swings. Continued drug use also opens someone up to exhibiting more risky behaviors–potentially leading to trouble with the law. Any substance that impairs cognitive function can result in a DUI or cause a serious accident. It’s important to intervene when you see your child show serious signs of drug abuse. 

How to Approach Your Teen About This Issue

It’s understandable to be angry after suspecting your teen might be using drugs. However, you need to be cautious while approaching this sensitive situation. Being aggressive isn’t going to help anything. Creating a stressful environment often does more harm than good. In fact, Verywell reports that high-stress teens are twice as likely to turn to drugs than those in low-stress environments. It’s best to approach this topic by being understanding and compassionate. Consider thinking back to when you were a teenager. You likely faced the same issues that your teen is currently going through.

You must also remember that it’s important to not jump to conclusions. Instead of doing this, ask yourself why a teen would look to drugs for help? Has your teen been dealing with a stressful situation at home or school? Maybe they’re starting to hang out with new people that give you bad vibes? Thinking about these questions might help determine the root of why your teen is turning to drugs and alcohol.

In conclusion, if you’re worried that your child could be exposed to or is using drugs, you’re not alone. Most of the time, drugs and alcohol cause symptoms that parents can watch out for. While speaking with your teenager about this issue, it’s best to be understanding rather than lashing out.

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