Parenting Guild

Possible Teen Drug Use Indicators

Unless children are actually observed using drugs, detection will depend on the observation of symptoms and changes in performance, attitudes, and behavior as adolescents become more involved in drugs.

Parents are in the best position to recognize early signs of drug use, and frequently instinctively sense that changes are taking place in their children even before they observe any tangible evidence. The following information is intended to help parents identify symptoms and indicators of drug use in recognition of the fact that the earlier a drug problem is found and faced, the less difficult it will be to overcome.

Generally, the greater number of indicators, the greater the probability of drug involvement. However, it should also be understood that many of the symptoms and behaviors listed may have causes other that drug use.
  1. Possession of drugs or evidence of drugs; peculiar plants, butts, seeds, or leaves in ashtrays or clothing pockets; other unidentified substances.
  2. Possession of drug-related paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, small decongestant bottles, small butane torches, roach clips, etc.
  3. Odor of drugs; smell of incense or other "cover-up" scents.
  4. Drug-related magazines; slogans on clothing.
  5. Conversation and jokes preoccupied with drugs.
  6. Hostility in discussing drugs.
  7. Strong identification with drug culture or pro-drug issues, pro-drug personalities, drug-related music, etc.

Article used with permission from Christian Family For the remaining 50 signs of adolescent drug use, and everything else you need to know about your child and drugs, you may order a free copy of the book, "What Every Parent Needs to Know About Children and Drugs," from their web site:

The moment you see signs and symptoms of drug addiction in a teenage loved one, waste no time in finding drug detox centers that can help your teen get rid of his physical addiction.

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