WellSpan Home

Substance Use Problems: Signs at Home

Topic Overview

Your teen's behavior at home will most likely be affected if he or she is drinking alcohol or taking other drugs. The following are some questions to ask yourself if you suspect substance use in your teen:

  • Has your teen recently developed a negative attitude and become less motivated toward activities such as sports or hobbies? Has he or she talked about suicide or running away?
  • Does your teen argue with you much more than usual? Is he or she more aggressive, more depressed, or prone to sudden mood changes?
  • Have you noticed a change in the way your teen dresses? Is he or she poorly groomed?
  • Does your teen avoid adults? Has he or she had encounters with the police?
  • Have you caught your teen lying or stealing? Does he or she seem to have extra money that you cannot account for?
  • Does your teen participate in fewer family activities?
  • Does your teen seem to be more sensitive about his or her privacy?
  • Is your teen away from home more than usual? Does your teen seem to use home as a stop-off place?
  • When you ask your teen where he or she has been, do you get a vague answer?

Many of the behaviors listed above are normal for teenagers. So it is helpful to look for changes in patterns of behavior along with any direct evidence of substance use. For example, a change in pattern might be that your teen's loss of interest in school and activities seems continuous instead of just on Monday mornings. And you might notice that your teen smells of alcohol or is now using eyedrops often.

If your teen has tried drugs or alcohol only a few times, then talking openly with him or her about this may be all that you need to do. But if your teen has a substance use problem, then he or she needs to be seen by a doctor, a counselor, or both.

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerPatrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerPeter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health

Current as ofOctober 9, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×