Adolescent Warning Signs

Alcohol and drug problems in young people can go undetected by family members for long periods of time. Some research shows that a drug problem can exist for as long as six years before parents recognize it. Part of the problem is parental denial and not knowing the signs of abuse and addiction. The following is a list of the most common symptoms of addiction in teenagers:


  • Young womandrop in grade point average
  • missing or skipping school
  • drop old friends for a new group of friends
  • attraction to the drug culture is reflected through clothes, jewelry, music, paraphernalia
  • valuables or money missing from the home
  • alcohol or mood-altering prescription drugs missing
  • disregarding curfews
  • not coming home from school
  • avoiding questions about activities or money
  • tired-looking and sleeping more than usual
  • frequently coughing, sniffling or not feeling well
  • isolating from the family
  • withdrawn emotionally
  • avoiding family activities
  • red eyes
  • breath smells of alcohol
  • irritable and on edge
  • losing interest in extra-curricular activities and sports
  • decline in personal hygiene
  • memory loss
  • avoids introducing friends to family
  • angry, defensive outbursts
  • violent behavior toward others
  • dishonest and secretive
  • drop in body weight
  • mood-swings or depression
  • suspicious phone calls
  • fired from after-school job
  • suspended from school
  • getting in trouble with the police


As a parent, you must be the one to take action. Care must be taken in interpreting these warning signs. You may contact us by email or call us at 888-220-4400.


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