Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Is Your Teen Using Alcohol or Drugs?
Sometimes it's hard to tell if your teen is using alcohol or drugs. Parents may worry that their teens are involved with drugs or alcohol if they become withdrawn or negative. But these behaviors are common for teens going through challenging times.
It's important not to accuse your teen unfairly. Try to find out why your teen's behavior has changed. Tell him or her that you are concerned.
Experts recommend that parents look for a pattern or a number of changes in appearance, behavior, and attitude, not just one or two of the changes listed here.
Change in appearance
Change in behavior
Change in attitude
Any use of alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs in childhood or the teen years is a problem, unless it turns out to be a one-time event. If you suspect or see signs that your teen is using substances, check it out. Don't wait for it to become a big problem.
Note: One home urine drug screening test has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The test provides immediate, early information about whether the urine sample contains certain drugs (amphetamine, methamphetamine, opiate, marijuana, and cocaine). But it does not show which drug has been used. The test strip has to be sent to a lab for confirmation and to find out which drug was used. Don't use this kind of testing to identify substance abuse. Sometimes this test is used during treatment or during an aftercare program to monitor a teen. It is best not to use this test without your teen's consent. It needs to be done under the supervision of a health professional.
To learn how to recognize and deal with substance use in your teen, see:
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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