Drug Use in Teenagers – the tell-tale signs you should look out for

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. The beautiful child you raised is now a teenager, and has become mixed up with the wrong sort. You have your suspicions, but you can’t be sure. You don’t want to admit it to yourself, but you can’t ignore your gut. You think your teenager is addicted to drugs. So what do you do now?

Whether you notice changes in behavior, physical appearance or academic achievement, something will usually alert you to the fact that something is going on, but how do you separate normal teenage moody behaviour from the warning signs of substance abuse? There are a few warning signs you can look out for that will tell you whether the situation needs investigating.

Bloodshot or red eyes
After a late night or lot of crying, red eyes are normal, but if you’ve noticed your teenager consistently has red eyes, even when there appears to be no reason for it, this could indicate they’re on drugs. From more common substances like marijuana and alcohol to hardcore drugs like heroin, red eyes are a very common symptom. If you notice your teenager has red, bloodshot, or particularly glassy eyes often, you may have reason for concern.

Signs of anger/ erratic behaviour
Prolonged drug use can affect the chemistry of the brain, which can lead to anger, paranoia and violence. The odd outburst can happen to anyone (especially a moody teenager!), but if you notice a sudden change, an increase in anger or behaviour in your child that’s out of the ordinary, it could indicate that their body is suffering the effects of drugs. Also changes in behaviour such as becoming more erratic, changed sleep patterns or changed speech. These kind of mental effects are common with Cocaine, Crack, and Meth.

Lacking in motivation
Laziness is one of the cornerstones of a teenager. There’s no way they’ll be cleaning their room any time soon! But lethargy is a different matter. If they can’t be bothered doing things they used to, or if simple tasks suddenly become too difficult, it could be a symptom of drug use. You may also find they’ve lost interest in things they used to enjoy, such as video games or watching movies.

Sneaky or deceitful
If you are constantly catching your teenager in little lies all the time, you may think they are just white lies that are just normal, but constant lies and deceit could be the result of them covering up a bigger lie. Theft, sneaking out of the house and constant lying about where they were, what they’ve been doing and who they are friends with could be them trying to hide the little warning signs of their drug addiction.

Recurring nosebleeds
Drugs that are snorted, like cocaine, can cause nosebleeds, as the substance can disturb the tiny blood vessels in the nose. Alcohol abuse can also cause nosebleeds as it dilates the blood vessels and prevents clotting. This is usually a warning sign of heavier drug use, such as Cocaine, MDMA, and Amphetamines.

Dealing with a teenager with a drug problem is a terrible situation. It’s a scary and unfamiliar territory. You could try to confront your child about it, but if they are on drugs they’ll likely deny it, and if they aren’t you could seriously offend them and cause issues in your relationship with them. You deserve to know the truth, and you need to know if your suspicions are founded before you can do anything. You can’t investigate the situation yourself, as you could make the situation worse, but you need to find out what is going on so you can figure out the best steps to deal with it. A private investigator will find out the truth and, through discreet surveillance, will get you the evidence you need so you can take the steps towards helping your teenager get off drugs and recover from their addiction.

The detectives here at Elite Investigations know how to get to the bottom of any illicit behaviour, and are the epitome of professionalism. We know that a parent’s concern for their kid’s well-being is of the highest importance, so we treat every situation with urgency and delicacy. Discretion, sensitivity and commitment to finding the truth is our promise to you. If you think your child is on drugs and want to know the truth, give us a call on 1300 721 715 or email