As a parent you want to believe that you know what is going on with your child, but many parents are unaware that their teenagers are involved in substance abuse on some level. A common misconception is that medications prescribed to the child for ADHD, ADD, or other disorders can not be abused but this is not true and can actually mask an enormous problem. During the teen years kids tend to experiment, and peer pressure can be brutal during this period as well. If your child takes any type of stimulant or mood altering drug in an abusive manner this is a big problem regardless of whether the substance is an illegal street drug or a prescribed medication. Prescriptions for stimulant drugs are at an all time high for this age group and these can be addictive and are commonly abused.
One sign that a teen may be dependent or addicted to a substance is changes in behavior. If you notice your teen starts to hang out with a new peer group or they seem to lose interest in activities that were previously enjoyed then this can mean a problem is developing. If the teenager seems to run out of prescribed medication sooner than they should the drugs may be being abused. Financial problems are also common when substance abuse takes over, and many teens will find themselves in legal trouble due to criminal acts committed in an attempt to obtain drugs or money. If you suspect any substance abuse by your teen it is important that your child is evaluated by a substance abuse professional. Treatment is available that can make a difference in the life and future of the child and ignoring the problem will not make it go away.