Does my Teenager Need to go to Drug Rehab?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

If you’ve wondered: does my teenager need to go to drug rehab? Look for these signs and learn how detoxes and rehabs can help.

The teenage years can be a trying time for any parent. Hormones surge, body appearance matures, and your son or daughter may try new things. Sometimes this may mean experimentation with things like alcohol and drugs. No parent wants his or her son or daughter to succumb to teenage drug addiction, but it does happen more than you may think. According to a 2012 Back-to-School Teen Survey from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 86 percent of high-schoolers in the United States admitted that some of their peers were smoking, drinking or using drugs while in school. In addition, almost 50 percent of those surveyed know at least one other student who was selling drugs on school property.  With today’s teenagers being surrounded by drugs, it’s no wonder some parents are asking, Does my teenager need to go to drug rehab?

Studies such as the one just mentioned highlight the prevalence of drugs around teenagers in America. So, just how many are actually using these substances? According to, 28 percent of boys and girls have used alcohol, and almost 17 percent have used marijuana by the 8th grade. In addition, 50 percent of high school seniors do not see cocaine or crack as harmful, in addition to 40 percent not perceiving heroin as harmful if tried once or twice. With these statistics, it is easy to see why teenage drug addiction is occurring here in America.

If you have noticed a change in behavior or appearance in your teenage son or daughter, and believe drugs are the cause, you will want to know what to do when your child is using drugs. Before you intervene, know the signs and be confident drugs are the issue. Here are some behavioral cues of teenage drug addiction to keep an eye out for:

  • Personality shifts – It is quite common for teenagers to be moody and somewhat secretive with their parents, but if you notice a substantial change in personality, drugs may be the culprit. For example, if your active, talkative teenage daughter suddenly becomes withdrawn, slow, and disinterested in her usual hobbies, it may be time to seek help.
  • Change in performance – Keep an eye on any changes in academic performance, or sudden disinterest or dropping out of favorite sports or extracurricular activities.
  • Stealing – Teenage drug addiction can cause the addict to resort to theft in order to pay for illegal drugs. Stealing can also come in the form of taking prescriptions pills from the home that were prescribed for someone else.


In addition to behavioral changes, parents should also keep a close eye on physical cues. These can include:

  • Drastic change in sleeping habits
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Pupil changes –either very wide or small, pinprick shape
  • Dripping nose
  • Needle marks on the body
  • Sudden change in dental health


Last, parents who have a son or daughter living with teenage drug addiction may find drug paraphernalia around the homes or in bedrooms. Witnessing any of these signs could help the parent(s) engage in an open conversation with their son or daughter about potential drug abuse. Any parent asking, “Does my teenager need to go to drug rehab?” can reach out to a local detox and rehab facility to learn about treatment programs that can help. These facilities can offer great advice on how to reach a troubled individual who is struggling with teenage drug addiction.

To learn more about finding the right drug treatment facility for your teen, Better Addiction Care can help. Call 1-800-429-7690today.