According to the National Institute of Health, “Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young.” The fact of the matter is, drug abuse in young adults is an issue for nearly all ages, but the most likely demographics to abuse drugs are teenagers and young adults. There are many opportunities to use, peer pressure is a constant issue, and the cognitive and decision-making parts of the brain are not fully developed. If you find you are using drugs despite negative consequences, read on to learn how to identify the issue and get the help you need.
Sudden Changes in Behavior
Changes in behavior are common with drug addiction, young adults especially. Sudden and drastic changes can be indications of drug addiction. If you have noticed sudden, drastic changes in behavior in your son or daughter, it may mean you need to pay closer attention to any habits they may be forming. Here are some of the things that can indicate your teen is using drugs:
- A change of friends: If you’ve always known your teen’s friends but suddenly you don’t recognize the faces of their peers, it may mean they have found people who enjoy doing or dealing drugs.
- Poor grades and/or attendance: Of course, “poor” can mean something different to different people, but if your teen has started getting worse grades than they normally get, or if you’ve found out that they’ve stopped attending class altogether, this can mean that drug addiction has become a bigger priority than academic performance and it is time to seek help.
- Loss of Appetite: As any parent knows, many teenagers can eat you out of house and home. Keeping the cupboards and refrigerator stocked is often a challenge. If this is typically the case for your teen and that has recently changed, it may be an indication that they’ve started using drugs. Not only can drugs reduce appetite themselves, but they can lead to a lifestyle that does not prioritize eating. The acquisition and use of drugs becomes more important than their next meal.
What if My Teen is Using Drugs?
If after you have reviewed the potential signs of drug abuse in young adults, you have decided that your teen is likely using drugs and is in need of an addiction recovery program, it is time to take action. There are a number of things you can do, but there is one thing that is most important to remember. You are trying to help. I can be difficult to remember this, particularly since most teens are not initially receptive to the concept of receiving addiction help.
- Talk to Them: It may seem overly simple given the many successful, customized, individualized addiction counseling services, but simply talking to your teen can be the best way to help your teen get help now. In this case, you may be the help, or maybe this conversation is the first step to finding professional addiction counseling services near you. Either way, a conversation is often this best route.
- Seek Professional Help: There are many highly trained professionals that specialize in helping teens start healing from addiction. Psychologists, doctors, and counselors are all great options.
- Do Your Research: When you have a conversation about drug use, you have to prepared for all possibilities. Yes, it is possible that things will go poorly and your teen will not have any interest in speaking with a counselor, but it is also possible that things will go very well. If your teen wants to get sober, make sure you know the name of some support groups or addiction services to ensure you know the next step to take.