For parents across America, it’s an unfortunate reality that approximately 10 million children between the ages of 12 and 20 have reported consuming alcohol during the past 30 days. A 2012 study from HealthDay News showed that approximately 17% (2.5 million) of all U.S. teens had abused alcohol or drugs just during school hours. That number increases dramatically when the rest of the day is accounted for. For most parents, the idea of sending their teenager to an alcohol or drug addiction rehab program is beyond comprehension at first. In order to properly help their teenager, a parent must first know what to look for.
There are three major signs of addiction that every parent should keep an eye out for. They are typically written off as normal signs of being a teenager, which often leads to an addiction being caught too late. By spotting them early and sending their child to drug addiction rehab, a parent could be giving them the best possible chance for a normal, healthy life.
- Changes in Behavior – Have you ever seen a a star honor student or athlete suddenly seem like they could not care less? That kind of change typically comes from somewhere. One of the most common symptoms of addiction in teenagers is a change in certain behaviors or habits. If your child suddenly seems to lose interest in their favorite activities, or changes their entire circle of friends, it might be a good idea to ask why.
- Isolation – While everyone knows the stereotype of the teenager locked in their room, most don’t see it as an immediate need for an alcohol or drug addiction rehab facility. When certain people start abusing alcohol or drugs, sink into a depression or begin to cut themselves, they may choose to isolate themselves from anyone who may find out. Everyone needs privacy from time to time, but there’s a limit to what’s healthy, and what’s not. If your kid is cutting themselves off from everything, it may be time to intervene.
- Mood Swings – Perhaps the most well-known stereotype is that of the moody teenager. With complex social lives and raging hormones, it’s understandable that some teens may be irritable one day, but flying high the next. However, if your teen begins to act in a threatening, violent or abusive manner, it could be a sign of addiction. Addictive substances can dramatically alter one’s personality. Someone who is struggling with substance abuse may act out in ways which completely contradict who they normally are.
The signs of drug addiction are there, if you know what to look for; nevertheless, many people choose to ignore them. The primary duty of parents is to protect their children from danger, and to help them make smart choices. For many, having to send their kids to a teen alcohol and drug abuse program could feel like admitting defeat. By taking steps to identify and stop the addiction early, a parent will be doing exactly what they’re supposed to.