Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse in Teens

There is no simple way to find out if your kid is taking drugs or not. What you need to do is to keep your eyes peeled for the common signs and symptoms of drug abuse. These symptoms vary from drug to drug. This means that learning about the drug abuse symptoms can help you in finding out if your kids are doing drugs, and also help you discover just which drugs they’re doing. Some of the drugs popular among teens, along with their symptoms have been outlined below.

Cold Medicines

Kids frequently use cold medicines for getting high. These medicines have a key ingredient named dextromethorphan which decreases or increases the heart rate and causes feelings of sleepiness. If your kid feels dizzy or sleeps all the time and his heart rate is unstable, then chances are he has taken the cold medicine in excess.

Club Drugs

Club drugs like Ecstasy are relatively easier to identify as they leave visible symptoms. Kids using club drugs show over-excitement without any apparent reason. They are full of energy and stay unreasonable happy all the time.


Depressants are relatively easier to get as they are present in most of the homes. Kids take these drugs to forget their problems as they cause sleepiness and unconsciousness. If your kid feels sleepy, has a lower heart rate or blood pressure, and remains partially unconscious too often, then you must consult the doctor immediately as an excessive intake of depressants can result in coma, or even death.


Some teens inhale paint thinners, aerosol spray, hair spray, gasoline, etc. The good thing about these and all other inhalants is that their smell does not go away easily, thus making it easier for you to figure out that there is something wrong. A runny nose is yet another sign that kids are using inhalants. The strong smell of these drugs also causes irritation.


Kids taking these drugs start to see, hear and feel things and people. They lose their ability to perceive reality. These kids also develop a condition in which they begin to believe that people in their surroundings have negative intentions. This also leads to anxiety and depression. The overdose of hallucinogens also disturbs their sleeping cycle, due to which they face difficulty in sleeping.


Cannabinoids are also quite popular among the younger generation. These drugs cause redness in the eyes, which is quite obvious. Sleepiness and a sudden increase in hunger are also common symptoms of these drugs. Last but not the least, they cause euphoria, a condition in which the patient feel extremely happy for no apparent reason.


Steroids result in sudden weight gain or weight loss, nosebleeds, mood swings, and increased irritability, etc. Some kids complain about thinning of hair while others face baldness. A sudden increase in acne is also a symptom.

Most of the signs and symptoms of drug abuse are, at times, caused due to various other reasons like stress, depression, mental disorder, etc. This is why parents are advised to talk to the kids before jumping to conclusions and accusing them of taking drugs.

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