Teenagers may be involved with drugs in various ways. Experimentation at this age is common. Unfortunately, most teens do not realize how their actions affect their futures. They might think they do not have problems that others have.
Every teen who uses drugs runs the risk of becoming addicted. Some teens will try a drug a few times and stop. But some will become dependent. They will move on to more dangerous drugs and cause serious harm to themselves and others.
Who is at Risk?
Teens who could develop serious drug problems include those:
With a family history of substance abuse
Who are depressed
Who have low self-esteem
Who feel they do not fit in
What are the Warning Signs?
Physical: Fatigue, repeated health complaints, red and glazed eyes, a lasting cough
Emotional: Sudden personality and mood changes, irritability, irresponsible behavior, low self-esteem, poor judgment, depression
Family: Starting arguments, breaking rules, withdrawal
School: Lack of interest, poor attitude, drop in grades, many absences, discipline problems
Social: New friends who are not interested in home and school activities, problems with the law, changes to less conventional clothes and music
Some of these signs can also suggest other problems. If your teen shows some of the symptoms, call your health care provider to rule out other types of illnesses.
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