3 Signs Your Teen Is Abusing Prescription Medications

Posted on: 14 February 2019

From participating in sports and hanging out with friends to lounging in their room playing video games, teens spend a good amount of time doing things they love to do. Unfortunately, as your teen is away from you and your home, you will not be able to supervise them constantly, so you may not see everything they do. While shocking for many parents to learn, your teen may be taking and abusing prescription drugs. As a matter of fact, recent studies have shown an estimated 20 percent of teens have a friend who abuses prescription drugs. If you have a teen, knowing the signs they have a prescription drug problem is key.

Missing Medication

One of the first signs you may notice is there are drugs missing in the home. If your teen has been prescribed certain medications to treat pain or ADHD, for example, or you or another family are taking a prescription medication, it is important to pay attention to how much of the medication is available each day.

Your teen may sneak a pill here and a pill there or they may completely take the bottle and hide is so they can have full access. Either way, missing medication in the home, whether it is your teen's medication or your own medication, is a red flag.

Attitude Changes

Teenagers are notorious for being moody. However, if your teen has had a sudden change in their attitude, turning them from a somewhat happy teenager to a sullen and isolated teenager, there is an underlying issue to address.

Many teens who are abusing prescription drugs tend to experience highs and lows, which can be severe. You may notice your teen is incredibly hyper at one point of the day, but severely depressed and sad later in the day. Teens who develop anger issues may also be abusing prescription drugs.

It is important to remember these attitude changes are caused by the medications and their desire to take them.

Behavior Changes

While their attitude will change, your teen's behavior will change, as well, if they are abusing prescription drugs. Your teen may lose all interest in things they once enjoyed. If they were on a sport's team or had a hobby, they may quit playing and participating.

Many teens who abuse drugs will also start hanging around with a completely new group of friends. Your teen may also start struggling severely in school.

Knowing the signs that your teen is abusing prescription medication is imperative. If your teen is showing one or more of these signs, contact a drug abuse professional immediately, such as Sharon O'Connell, MA.