As a parent, you understand the importance of helping your children make healthy decisions throughout their life. You have worked hard to teach them right from wrong and would do anything to keep them safe. In order to do so you need to be able to pick up on warning signs that your teen could be headed down a dangerous path. Teens who use drugs are at a much higher risk of substance abuse and addiction as adults, so it’s important to use prevention as a means to keep them on the right track. Even though it’s not uncommon for teens to experiment with drugs, the dependency or addiction can lead to poor performance in school, conflicts with family and friends, and even trouble with the law. Some teens could display some warning signs even if they don’t do drugs, but in general you should be concerned if your teen exhibits multiple warning signs as this could point to a budding drug problem.
Teens who have low self esteem, unhealthy relationships with parents or bad grades in school, or are faced with family difficulties such as death or parental separation tend to be at a higher risk for developing a drug dependency. These sources of stress, possibly combined with red flags noted below, could be an indication of drug problems:
1. Your teen has changed peer groups and does not stay in touch with old friends. He or she works hard to try to fit in with this new group.
2. Performance in school is on the decline, and your teen shows less interest in schoolwork and classes.
3. New behavioral problems such as breaking house rules and staying out past curfew could be a sign of other behavioral changes.
4. A teen who is using drugs could suffer from extreme lethargy and frequent fatigue or sleeping problems, as well as a lack of motivation or interest in daily activities.
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