Warning Signs of Addiction in Teens

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Changes in Friendships

Change in friendships, new friends, avoids old friends

Associating with an older group of friends

Fighting with peers and siblings

Association with known drug/alcohol users

Withdrawing and isolation from friends and family



Defiance toward parents, other adults, teachers

Change in language (profanity, new slang terms, etc.)



Skipping classes or whole days of school, doesnít care

Getting in to trouble in school

Sleeping excessively in class

Sudden drop or gradual drop in grades and achievement for no apparent reason


Physical Changes

Red eyes, frequent use of eye drops

Pupils dilated or constricted

Breath mints or cologne to cover smell of marijuana/alcohol

Excessive use of beeper or cell phone

Missing money, spending more on drugs

Slurred speech or changes in speech pattern

Changes in sleeping patterns, sleeping late, hyper and not sleepy



Legal Troubles

Selling drugs and/or alcohol, an obvious clue, but they will deny using themselves

Careless or reckless behavior (speeding, poor judgement)

Trouble with the law

Thefts, assaults, etc.

Weight changes (drastic loss or gain)

Writes drug slang and phrases on notebooks, yearbooks, etc.

Drop in church activities and other spiritual issues


Changes in Personality and Mood

Consistent lying, secretive, suspicious behavior

Nervousness, obsessiveness or agitated, having trouble sitting still

Angrier and grumpier



Too energetic

Easily upset, frequent changes in emotions

Changes in sexual behavior, sexually reckless, donít care attitude

Change in appearance and/or hygiene

Blackouts, periods of memory loss

Very defensive especially concerning drugs and alcohol use, the amount of defensiveness is in proportion to the amount of use


Changes in Behaviors

Loss of interest in hobbies, extracurricular activities


More Obvious Signs

Keeping drug paraphernalia (rolling papers, pipes, roach clips,etc.)

Signs of being intoxicated


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