The teenage years can be a time of tension and emotional upheaval in families, and this can increase dramatically if you fear that your child has become addicted to drugs, to alcohol, or even to technology. Many parents worry by themselves, afraid to confront their teenager, but also concerned that their child is about to travel down the path to homelessness and poverty. If you are worried about your teenager, then you need to consider the risk factors which might lead your teenager to be vulnerable, and any signs that your child is using hard drugs.

Risk factors for addiction

As a parent, you will need to know as much as possible about your child before you consider whether they might be addicted to drugs or alcohol. Firstly, if there is an addict in the immediate family, this may make the teenager more vulnerable to addiction. You may then want to ask if your child has an impulsive personality, or one which enjoys risk? Do they have mental health issues, or are they experiencing a lot of stress? And do they have friends that are known to use drugs? These can make the child more vulnerable to addiction, and if they have access to drugs, alcohol, or other stimulants, then they may be likely to develop an addiction.

Spotting the signs which may indicate that your child is using drugs

If you are concerned that your teenager is at risk of using drugs, then you might want to pay more attention to their behavior, and signs that they do have an addiction. One of the most important things to realize is that more children are becoming addicted to prescription medication and alcohol. There could be physical signs of drug use, but since these tend to revolve around scruffy appearances and poor hygiene, this might just be a sign of normal teenage behavior. More serious signs might be marks on arms or legs, including wearing jackets in summer, or marks on fingers and lips from smoking.

Some teenagers may show more signs than others, including excessive chewing of gum or of mints in order to hide smoking or alcohol use. They may use excessive amounts of make-up (if girls), or have unexplained reddening around the eyes and nose.  They may also start locking their doors, being more secretive and private, and suffer rapid mood changes, although these last signs may also just be signs of being a teenager.