Warning Signs: Beyond the Obvious Physical Symptoms
Many teens can hide their drug use from their parents with ease. They find secret spots to hide their drugs and paraphernalia. They show no physical signs that they are using, such as dilated pupils, bloodshot or glazed eyes. In fact, they may even be able to mask the smell on their breath and clothing. Beyond the obvious slurring or nervous increase in rate of speech, there may other physical symptoms to look for. Many clues are much more subtle, but with some minor investigation, you’d be surprised what you might discover when you look closer.
One of the first things you may notice is a lack of personal hygiene. Many teens become unconcerned about their physical appearance. Their clothing may be unwashed, wrinkled, or otherwise shabby looking. They may change the style of their clothing in order to “fit in” or conform to the “druggie” look. You may notice that they don’t frequently shave and their hair or body may not be as clean as usual. You may also notice skin abrasions, burn marks on their skin and clothes, and the tone of their skin may be paler than usual. Look for a sudden drop or increase in weight. Many teens will stop eating regularly or may overeat depending on their drug of choice. Generally speaking, look for any physical symptom that is irregular in the average teen