Childhood Addiction

Early Warning Signs of Addiction in Adolescents

As a parent, you have a responsibility to look out for the welfare of your teenager. Understandably, that’s not always an easy thing to do because teenagers tend to be secretive in their quest for independence. They also tend to get a little moody as their minds and bodies are going through changes.

Early Warning Signs of Addiction

If there is any silver lining to the fact that far too many people are being victimized by the disease of drug and alcohol addiction, it’s this; such diseases are progressive in nature. As such, there are early warning signs that family members can use to detect the onset of addiction within their loved ones.

When it comes to adolescent drug addiction and adolescent alcohol addiction, the earlier the detection the better. The key to helping your child is knowing what to look for and being able to react in a timely manner. With that in mind, here are some of the early warning signs of addiction for which you should be looking:

  • A sudden change in friendships and or participation in peer groups
  • A sudden change in appearance: unkempt or neglected
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or recreational acivities
  • Increasing difficulties at school: attendance and grade problems
  • Changes in eating habits, usually loss of weight due to less eating
  • Inability or unwillingness to manage personal responsibilities
  • Increasing difficulties with family relationships


In addition to these signs of adolescent drug addiction or adolescent alcohol addiction, there are behaviors that your child might start exhibiting. Take a look at this list and see if you can identify these behaviors in your child:

  • Aggressive and angry reactions to inquiries about welfare
  • Unwillingness to follow rules like curfews
  • increase in requests for money
  • Secrecy: on phone and behind locked doors
  • Constantly getting caught up in lies
  • Illicit behaviors like assault, robbery, or driving under the influence
  • Inability to accept criticism or discipline `


As you review these lists, you have to compare current behaviors to the behaviors your child has exhibited in the past. It could be your child is acting the same. If that’s the case, your child might be dealing with other emotional or mental issues.

Helping Your Child

Identifying that your child may be struggling with substance abuse is only the first step you will need to take when helping your child. From there, you would need to confront and confirm your suspicions. This is something you need to do as lovingly and gently as you can.

Once your suspicions are confirmed, you need to do what’s necessary to get them help. In almost all cases, that means getting them into rehab.

To ease your mind about the treatment process you should read the following information.

What Your Child Would Experience in Rehab

Upon entering rehab, your child would go through an intake assessment. The objective of this assessment is to determine the circumstances surrounding your child’s addiction. Rehab administrators will use this information to chart a course of treatment.

In many cases, the first step is detox. A medical detox program would help your child get through withdrawal as safely as possible. After detoxing, your child would start working with therapists to help determine the possible root causes of their addiction. Identifying root causes opens the door to developing better coping and life skills, which your child would need for a lasting recovery.

Music City Interventions offers a confidential, professional, and caring approach to intervention services for families and their loved ones affected by addiction or alcoholism in Nashville or across the US. Our goal in alcohol and drug addiction treatment is to discreetly and effectively work with our clients through loving confrontation and intervention for the suffering addict.