Identifying Prescription Drug Abuse in Your Teen

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Teenage prescription drug abuse is a very dangerous habit that has become more and more widespread in light of the nation’s epidemic of prescription drug abuse and addiction.  Teens often feel immune to the consequences of their behavior and don’t see a problem with using “study drugs” temporarily.  Unfortunately, these drugs do have serious consequences, including: legal problems, chemical dependency and drug addiction, psychological woes, health complications and even the risk of fatality.

Many parents don’t recognize the signs of a prescription drug problem, as it is often masked by a teen’s typical behaviors.  Learn the signs of prescription drug abuse to provide your child with help as early as possible.

Behavior Connected to Potential Prescription Drug Abuse

These are some of the common behavioral signs seen among clients of prescription drug abuse treatment centers. The signs vary from person to person as well as depending on the type or types of drugs being abused, but if you recognize any of these symptoms it may be time to ask for professional help

  • Displaying extreme and sudden mood swings
  • Isolating and otherwise withdrawing socially
  • Experiencing forgetfulness and memory lapses
  • Spending significant amounts of money on unknown expenditures
  • Taking more medication than prescribed
  • Taking medication prescribed to someone else

Physical Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

The physical signs also vary depending on the types of drugs being abused. Here are some of the most common signs of prescription drug abuse.

  • Restlessness
  • Extreme weight gain or weight loss
  • Troubled sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Appearing to be high on drugs
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Drowsiness
  • Walking unsteadily or otherwise experiencing coordination problems

Getting Help

If your teen does in fact have a prescription drug abuse problem, substance abuse and addiction treatment can help. Contrary to popular belief, substance addiction treatment programs are not reserved solely for individuals facing serious addictions to drugs and alcohol. These programs also offer help and hope to clients of substance abuse providing them with an important path to healthier and more productive living. Untreated prescription drug abuse will leave your teen in danger of heading to a world of addiction as well as a number of other dangers along the way including damaging mental and physical health.

Depending on the breadth and extent of your teen’s prescription drug abuse, the first step will be a medically-supervised detoxification process. Many prescription drugs are very chemically addictive creating physical dependencies that can lead to withdrawal symptoms ranging from the uncomfortable to the life-threatening. The treatment program is next where your teen can uncover what underlying personal sources are contributing to his or her substance abuse. This is achieved through psychotherapy, the main treatment method for substance abuse and addiction. Other treatment methods include attending and participating in support group meetings, receiving lifestyle counseling and counseling on stress management and creating and utilizing relapse prevention strategies for continued recovery success.