Substance abuse is when your child keeps taking a drug even though it causes a problem such as:
Substance abuse puts kids at greater risk for accidents, violence, unplanned and unsafe sex, and suicide. If your child continues to abuse drugs, he can become dependent. When your child is dependent on drugs, he:
Dependence is also called addiction.
There are many kinds of drugs, both legal and illegal, that can be abused:
If your child is abusing alcohol or drugs, he or she may:
Some of these warning signs of drug or alcohol abuse can also be signs of other problems. Your child's healthcare provider will examine your child and ask about symptoms to find out if there is a physical cause for his symptoms. You child may be treated for physical problems, or referred to a mental health specialist.
Some of these symptoms are normal in teenagers. If you are concerned that your child is using drugs, talk to them.
People and resources in your community that can help you include your healthcare providers, therapists, support groups, mental health centers, and alcohol or substance abuse treatment programs. You may want to contact: