Signs Your Teen Could Be Using Gateway Substances
There has been much scientific study and research about gateway substances, which can lead to addictions to other drugs, such as meth or heroin. Most addicts are exposed to one of the three primary gateway substances during their teen years:
- Tobacco Products – From cigarettes to chewing tobacco and e-cigs, these products are often one of the first ones teens will try.
- Alcohol – It can be easy for many teens to have access to beer, wine, and other alcohol, especially when their parents drink.
- Marijuana – Marijuana is one of the easiest controlled substances for teens to obtain.
It is important to watch for specific signs of gateway drug use, aside from the normalcy of going through puberty. Some of the more common warning signs include:
- A Recent Change in Friends
- Changes in Eating Habits
- Excessive Weight Gain/Loss
- Decline in Grades
- Cutting/Skipping Classes
- Sleeping Excessively
- Disappearance of Items of Value
- Excessive Use of Body Sprays/Perfumes
- Decline in Personal Grooming/Hygiene
If you suspect your teen is using drugs and alcohol, your initial response could be to confront them directly. However, taking this approach may not be the best, as your teen could simply deny the accusations or withdraw further away from the support of his or her family.
Rather, it is better to seek outside help first, from an experienced drug rehab center, on the most appropriate methods to address the situation and what steps to take next. Most importantly, remember, help is available for parents and teens from the Wellness Center of NJ. Call us at 201-932-1695 now!