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Is My Child High? Signs of Substance Abuse in Young Adults

What are signs of drug and alcohol abuse?

Teens and young adults experimenting with drugs and alcohol can be a time. Many young adults try substances and stop. For others, a disease takes hold. They can’t control their use and the impact it has on their life. That is when they develop drug or alcohol use disorders.

There are some signs parents can look for to spot signs of substance abuse. They include lifestyle changes, worsening health and even changes to their personality. Parents can be on the lookout for some of these signs. If they notice a pattern, they can talk to their child or a health professional to decide the best course of action.

The signs can help parents spot the need for help so their child can get on the road to recovery.


Signs Of Substance Abuse: Physical Changes

There are some signs of substance abuse that show up in physical ways. It could be changes in the young adult's health conditions or just how they see in typical environments. According to the Partnership To End Addiction signs include:

  • Frequent sickness
  • Unable to speak intelligible, slurred speech or rapid-fire speech
  • Nosebleeds and/or runny nose, not caused by other conditions
  • Frequent perspiration
  • Seizures and/or vomiting
  • Sores, spots around the mouth


Signs Of Substance Abuse: Social Problems and School Problems

There are also signs of substance abuse in young adults that manifest in social ways or at school. It might give parents some insight into if their child is getting high. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry the signs include:

  • Decreased interest in school
  • Negative attitude
  • Absences
  • Discipline problems
  • New friends who are less interested in standard home activities
  • Problems with the law
  • Changes to less conventional styles of dress and music

Signs Of Substance Abuse: Emotional Problems

There are also signs of emotional changes in some young adults who abuse drugs and alcohol, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. They include:

  • Personality changes
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor judgment
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • General Lack of Interest

Signs Of Substance Abuse: Next Moves

Parents who suspect their young adult might be abusing drugs or alcohol can seek professional help on how to approach the issue. For some young adults, in-patient or out-patient treatment for their substance use disorder will be the best course of action. There are numerous types of treatment options to help teens and young adults get on the road to recovery. They do not have to be alone in the journey to sobriety. 

Contact our staff at Momentum to discuss possible treatment options for the young adult in your life.