How to know when your teen or loved one has a drug addiction or alcohol problem

One of the many hats I wear as the CEO of Inspirations for Youth and Families (IYF) teen rehab as well as the Cove Center for Recovery adult drug rehab is the performance of interventions for teens and also adults suffering from acute drug or alcohol abuse. Through the years I have traveled from the east to the west coast, as well as the interior of the nation undertaking thousands of interventions that have literally saved the health and well being of entire families.

Inspirations CEO image

Dr. Hughes CEO Inspirations for Youth and Families teen drug rehab

I have also had the honor of being a guest on the Dr. Phil Show, where we performed an intervention. The episode: Dangerous Fads: Huffing is still one of the highest ranked programs in the history of Dr. Phil. In fact, it still airs from time to time and has amassed over 30,000 YouTube views to date.

But before a parent or love one should call IYF or the Cove to request an intervention, they need to know the drug and alcohol addiction warning signs.

Here are my top five teen or adult drug and/or alcohol abuse warning signs

1. Have you noticed a change in your teen or loved one’s personality – Is he or she experiencing sudden mood changes? These abrupt shifts in personality may indicate that they are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. Some specific personality changes could include your teen or loved one being irritable or secretive, which are both signs of drug addiction and/or alcohol abuse. There are many other mood and personality changes that you should be aware of as well. It is important to monitor them closely so that you can give them the help that they need.

2. Changes in their physical appearance – Another sign of drug or alcohol abuse can be detected by their physical appearance. You may be able to spot changes in your son, daughter, spouse, family member or friend by how they look. Do they seem to have lost interest in the way they maintain themselves? Have they lost or gained a large amount of weight in a short period of time?

3. Absence from high school/college, poor grades or missing work – Another way to tell if they are suffering from a drug addiction or alcohol abuse is when their school grades have dropped dramatically. Also, even if their grades are fine check to see if they are absent from school. Sometimes teens go to school for parts of the day and leave gym class to do drugs. So look closely at the attendance section of their report cards.

In the case of adults, are they missing work or did they lose their job? If they have been fired take notice as to why. Perhaps, they were behaving erratically or not even showing up for work.

4. Excessive use of perfumes, incense in their room or house or breath mints – Another indicator of a drug or alcohol problem may involve your teenager or loved one’s excessive use of things to cover up the smell of drugs or alcohol. This can include breath mints and mouthwash to camouflage their breath or excessive perfumes and cologne. You may also find them using air fresheners or incense to cover up the smell of drugs or alcohol in their bed-room or house.

5. Suspicious behavior – If you have noticed that your teen or loved one are acting suspicious, then they may be hiding a drug or alcohol problem that has gotten out of control from them. This can include new secretive friends or asking for extreme privacy in their room or general personal space. It is critical to be aware of these types of behavior.

There is no sure-fire way to be entirely positive that your teen or loved one has a drug or alcohol problem that can be detrimental to their life short of a drug test. The best move to make is to call our team of trained treatment professionals at 855 240-6589.