Parenting a teenager can be tough even if they aren’t using drugs. Once teens begin experimenting with drugs, tensions at home usually increase. Drug tests can help parents determine whether or not their teenage child is using drugs.
Drugs are mind-altering substances. These mind-altering properties are what drug users seek when they are engaged in drug abuse. Often, drug abuse leads to mood changes, depending on the type of drug consumed.
Teens who abuse stimulant drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine experience increased alertness and manic behavior. This can lead to hyperfocus, irritability, and manic behavior. Depressants, on the other hand, have the opposite effect. Alcohol and marijuana are depressants and can cause drowsiness, lack of coordination, and slurred speech.
In contrast with stimulants and depressants, hallucinogens cause the user to see, hear, and feel things that aren’t there. A teen who is under the influence of a hallucinogen may speak to someone who isn’t there, scratch his arms and legs because he is seeing bugs and other things, or otherwise interact with the hallucinations.
In addition to mood changes while under the influence, teens may also become moody when they are sober and losing their high. Teenagers who are addicted to any substance can develop a foul mood as they seek to score their drug of choice. Either way, mood changes are a classic indicator of drug abuse.
Declining Grades & Skipping School
Teens using drugs often have shifting priorities. If they were once engaged in school and making good grades, they may begin skipping school in favor of getting high. This leads to a slippery slope in which teens begin neglecting their school work, eventually leading to falling grades.
When confronted with suspected drug abuse, teens can become aggressive. Not wanting to get caught, they can become indignant and unwilling to admit their plight. Further, they may engage in aggressive behavior to score more drugs to feed their habit.
As a result of the mood changes, falling grades, and aggressive behavior, drug-abusing teens begin to see their relationships fall apart. Teens abusing drugs start to become isolated from their peers. Parents of peers are likely to view teen drug abusers as bad influences on their own children, especially if the drug abuse is obvious. This results in failing friendships and romantic relationships, which further fuels drug abuse as the isolated child attempts to cope.
Additionally, family relationships may endure increased tension with drug abuse. Teens who are under the influence are more likely to lash out at parents and other family members who try to intervene. In severe cases, this can lead to the breakdown of familial relationships as well.
There are a variety of physical symptoms that occur with drug use. These can include the narrowing or widening of pupils, rapid or slowed heart rate and breathing rate, loss of consciousness, and inability to form coherent communication. Of all the signs of teen drug abuse, this can be the most obvious.
If you suspect that your teenager is engaged in drug abuse, Soteria Screening is here to help. Our trusted lab technicians can administer a drug and alcohol screen on urine, hair follicles, or saliva. Visit our website to order a drug screening kit, or give us a call at (202) 679 – 6670 for more information.