Published on December 14, 2023

Five Signs of Addiction in Teenagers

Parents of teenagers have a lot on their plates. They constantly worry about their children’s academic performance, college fees and most importantly, whether or not their kids are on the right track. 

While parents are ready to deal with tantrums, mood swings and other challenges, they might not be able to put a finger on the cause of these issues. 

A major problem among teenagers these days is the increasing usage of drugs and alcohol. 

We’ve jotted down some common signs of addiction in teenagers that can help you identify if your kid is struggling with substance abuse.  

Sudden Changes in Behaviour

While it is common for adolescents to experience heightened mood swings, there could be other reasons for these drastic changes in your kid’s behavior. 

You must keep a watch on their social circle, academic performance and extracurricular activities. Substance use can change vibrant souls into loners and shift their focus from sports or academics to just being under the influence. 

They might also prefer staying locked up in their rooms, become possessive of their phones and give several excuses when asked about their absence from family activities. 

Physical Signs

Apart from behavioral changes, another sign that can answer the question of whether your kid is addicted or not is a change in their appearance and physique. 

Physical changes like bloodshot eyes, unexpected gain or loss of weight, bruises, fatigue, etc. accompany addiction. Also, insomnia or sleep deprivation can be an indicator of a serious problem. 

Moreover, you should look for changes in your kid’s grooming habits, such as unkempt hair or irregular bathing, as substance use may lead to a lack of concern for personal appearance. 

Disappearance of Money

Teenage kids struggling with addiction usually don’t have a steady source of money and depend on stealing valuables and cash from their family members and friends. 

If you observe missing money or jewelry without a reasonable explanation, you should sit down with your kid and ask them what is going on. 

A safety measure to stop the addiction-related issue from escalating further is taking control over the financial transactions your kid makes and being extra secure of the cash present in the house. 

To put an end to this problem, you must find a suitable rehab for your kid. You can start by searching online for a “rehab near me.” Seeking professional help will increase the chances of your kid getting back on the path of sobriety. 

Change in the Social Circle

A teenager struggling with addiction might change their friends and social circle. They would prefer hanging out with people who also consume and provide substances rather than being with old friends who would try to stop them from using these drugs. 

So, if your kid has replaced long-time friends with individuals with questionable reputations or known for substance use, it is time you focus on their whereabouts and look for signs of using substances. 

Involvement in Legal Troubles

If suddenly your kid is getting tangled in legal issues, it might be a sign of addiction. These legal issues may include arrests for theft, fights or overspeeding. 

It is crucial to give attention to your kid’s health and well-being if they are getting into legal trouble because it might indicate that the substance use has reached a point where it is dangerously impacting their life. 


Being attentive to these signs is crucial for identifying addiction in teenagers. While it’s not easy to spot the signs of drug usage in your kid, it’s even more difficult to navigate once you find out the truth. 

If you observe the red flags, early intervention is highly necessary. Approach them with empathy and have open communication. Remember to make your kid feel safe and loved while seeking treatment. 

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