Do Not Use and Abuse

Lets Make Sure That Your Teen is Safe

Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is the patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or methods which are harmful to themselves or others.
REAL LIFE DRUG STORY VIDEOS -- Drug Addiction Experiences/Teenage Drugs Stories
REAL LIFE DRUG STORY VIDEOS -- Drug Addiction Experiences/Teenage Drugs Stories [Video file]. (2011, September 10). Retrieved from


Others to Look For

  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Ectasy (MDMA)
  • Inhalants
  • Heroin
  • Sedatives
  • OxyCotin

What You Should Look For

  • Changes in sleep pattern and appetite-This varies upon which drug that your teen may be abusing. Some drugs increase their appetite and sleep pattern, and some drugs decrease their sleep pattern and appetite.
  • Deterioration of physical appearance- They may start to care less about their physical appearance, usually teens are very worried about their appearance.
  • Withdrawal from social and important activities- The things that they once enjoyed, they may not enjoy them anymore or they may stop participating in them.
  • Unexplained spending habits-They may begin to ask for more money, and when asked they may not tell you what they are using the money for.
  • Sudden change in friends-Change of friends or the crowd that they are in. They may find their old friends "lame" now.
  • Increased impersonal or legal problems-They may start arguing with family and friends, and may start getting into legal trouble and have no explanation.
  • Neglecting responsibility-Your teen that is usually responsible may all of a sudden lack in responsibility
  • Usage of drugs despite knowing the dangers-Although they are aware of the consequences, the teens tend to ignore the dangers and still engage in the drug use.
  • Change in personality or attitude-Usually this is the hardest to figure out, due to hormones.Their mood swings are untypical and usually it depends on the drug on how bad their mood swings are.

How Can This Hurt Your Teen?

They can become:

  • impulsive
  • disruptive
  • hostile

They start participating in antisocial acts

They fail to learn responsible decision-making skills

They may show:

  • serious adjustment problems
  • chronic anxiety
  • depression
  • antisocial behavoir

Get Them Help

  • Family and individual therapy
  • Academic and vocational training
  • Support-group sessions

Prevention Tips

  • Reduce family adversity and improve parent skills
  • Monitor your teen's activities
  • Teach them skills to resist peer pressure


  • Berk, L. E. (2009). Physical and cognitive development in adolescense. In Development through the lifespan (5th ed., pp. 361-399). Pearson.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). CDC - Fact Sheet - Youth and Tobacco Use - Smoking & Tobacco Use. Retrieved from

  • Schneider, S., Peters, J., Bromberg, U., Brassen, S., Miedl, S. F., Banaschewski, T., ... & Büchel, C. (2012). Risk taking and the adolescent reward system: a potential common link to substance abuse. American journal of psychiatry, 169(1), 39-46.
  • White, D. (2012). Symptoms of Teen Substance Abuse. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2015, from