As a parent, you want to keep your children from harm. Sometimes, being on the lookout for warning signs is the most important thing you can do. Know when your child’s behaviors have changed and you may be able to prevent a future of addiction and pain. Here are the five biggest warning signs to look out for.
1. She has a new group of friends
A new group of friends could be a sign that your teenager is making bad choices. As kids grow up, they start to question where they belong. Your daughter might not feel close to the people she grew up knowing, and suddenly you don’t know any of her friends.
While this isn’t an immediate cause for concern, it can be a warning sign if the change is sudden. A new group of friends could be due to bad choices your daughter has made. These teens might support the poor choices being made, which is the last thing you want. If your daughter has new friends, get to know their parents right away. You can keep each other informed and work together to support your kids.
2. He’s lost interest in things he used to love
A warning sign of addiction is losing interesting in activities you used to love. You might notice that your son no longer wants to go golfing in New Jersey with his father or that he has quit the school golf team. Changes in interests are typically a sign of addiction because they indicate that the teenager can’t participate in activities during which they won’t have access to the addictive substance. Your teen might not want to take a trip with you because he knows he won’t be able to do drugs on the trip. He might drop out of sports because he knows they do random drug testing. Any sudden changes in interest should be a red flag that something is going on, whether it’s addiction or another mental health disorder.
3. She’s isolating at home
Similarly, isolating at home can be a sign of addiction. Your teenager might not want to leave her room because she doesn’t want to tip you off that something is wrong. She might avoid one-on-one conversations with you and take her dinner to her room. She might spend most of her time alone when she’s home or she could make up excuses to avoid the house altogether. A teen spending time alone is definitely a warning sign of addiction.
4. He’s engaging in more risk behaviors
While it’s healthy to let your children make mistakes and learn from them, there is a limit. You want to stop your teen from engaging in any serious risk behaviors. If you catch your child drinking or doing drugs, it’s time for action. Irresponsible sexual activity or smoking cigarettes could be a sign that something bigger is wrong with your teenager. If you notice an uptick in any risk behaviors, you might need to do something.
5. Her grades are slipping
Addiction is all-consuming. Your daughter might not have the time or energy to focus on her schoolwork. Her grades might start to slip, and if she previously cared about school and is now demonstrating apathy towards her grades, that’s a clear red flag. Talk with your teen’s teachers about her grades and what they’ve noticed in school. This information can help you understand what’s going on and why.
Here’s how you can help
Thankfully, you can help your teenager recover from addiction. Admission to one of the excellent residential treatment centers in Los Angeles could make a huge difference. While here, your son or daughter can focus on recovery and work with a medical team. An individualized treatment plan will help your teen recover from any addiction or behavioral issues. Individual and group therapy will put your teen on a path towards healing. If you suspect your son or daughter is suffering from addiction, talk with a professional immediately.
Notice the warning signs and do what you can to help your teenager recover. With the proper inpatient treatment, he or she will be healthy and happy soon.