1. Changes In Friends- Often substance abuse can be identified by a change in friends and peer groups of the teenager. As alcohol or drugs take over the teen has less time for old friends, and will surround themselves with new peers who share the same substance abuse preferences.
2. Slipping Grades- Increasing abuse of alcohol or drugs will normally cause the individual to see slipping grades. Less time is spent focusing on school and more attention is given to finding and using the desired substance.
3. Unusual Sleeping Patterns- All teens go through growth spurts when they sleep quite a bit. If the sleep patterns of the teenager are unusual and they are not growing then this could be a sign of substance abuse.
4. Secretive Behavior- When teens start to do drugs or drink they typically start to act secretively. They may be vague about where they are going, who they will be with, and what they are doing.
5. Constant Need For Money- Alcohol and drugs can be expensive, especially to a teenager with a limited amount of funds. The teen may always seem to need extra cash and may get caught lying about what money is used for.
6. Changes In Personality And Demeanor- The teen years are years of rebellion and conflict for most parents. If you notice the teenager has undergone a change in personality or demeanor then look for other signs of substance abuse as well.
7. Criminal Behavior- Alcohol and drug use often result in criminal behavior by teens. This can include driving under the influence, but also theft, burglary, and other criminal acts that are designed to fuel the purchase of the substance being abused.