7 warning signs of teen drug or alcohol use

Posted on 08/29/18 01:50:pm 7 signs of teen drug or alcohol use


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The statistics on teen drug and alcohol use are staggering.

“Studies show that 15% of eighth graders have tried alcohol or other illegal substances, and 50% of high school students have reported trying some kind of drug,” says Dr. Azhar Yunus, medical director of Rogers’ Adolescent Recovery Program and child and adolescent outpatient services.

According to the Center on Addiction, 9 out of 10 people who go on to develop substance problems started using before they turned 18.

Since more and more kids are experimenting with alcohol and drugs at an early age, Dr. Yunus says recognizing the signs of substance use becomes critical.

7 warning signs that a teenager may be using drugs or alcohol

  1. Changes in personality or behavior such as more irritability, including aggressive or violent outbursts
  2. A decrease in grades at school
  3. A change in friends or withdrawing from friends and family
  4. Less interest in activities and lower motivation overall
  5. Physical symptoms such as bloodshot or dilated eyes, weight loss, poor hygiene, unexplained nosebleeds or shakiness
  6. Finding drugs or paraphernalia in a child’s room
  7. A family history of substance use

Dr. Yunus also explains, “It’s rare that someone will just have substance use and no other mental health issues. In fact, substance use is often a way a teen may self-medicate or alleviate the symptoms he or she may be experiencing due to a co-occurring mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, or ADHD.”

Substance use and dual diagnosis treatment for teens at Rogers Behavioral Health

To be able to treat even more kids who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, Rogers Behavioral Health provides outpatient treatment for teens throughout the Milwaukee area as well as residential treatment through the recently expanded Adolescent Recovery Program in West Allis, WI. Led by Dr. Yunus and a multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals, adolescents ages 12 to 17 receive evidence-based treatment in a homelike, residential setting.

A new outpatient, dual diagnosis program is also now available in our Nashville location.

To learn how Rogers can help a teens struggling with addiction, request a free confidential screening at 800-767-4411 or request a screening online.


Call 800-767-4411 or go to rogersbh.org to request a free screening.