Quiz – Normal teenage behaviour, or signs of addiction?

Raising a teenager is full of worry. But one of the worst fears you can have is that your child is addicted to drugs. From alcohol abuse to stronger drugs, their addiction will slowly cause changes in their behaviour. Take the quiz below to see if your teenager’s behaviour is perfectly normal or warning signs of drug addiction.

Do they suddenly have a new group of friends, or have lost their old friends? (Yes/No)
Getting in with the wrong crowd is a key cause of drug use. As your teenager gets involved with drugs their old friends will drop off as their addiction changes them. They will spend more and more time with friends that support their habit and do drugs with them.

Do they come and go at odd hours? (Yes/No)
Substance abuse is not usually a daytime habit. If they are leaving the house or returning at odd hours, it could be because they are using the cover of night time to buy, use or sell their drug of choice.

Do they anger more easily than they used to? (Yes/No)
If you notice a sudden increase in anger or violent behaviour in your child, it could indicate that their body is suffering the effects of long term drug and substance abuse. Prolonged drug use can affect the chemistry of the brain, which can lead to anger, paranoia and violence. The mental effects of drug abuse can start small, but slowly increase as their addiction gets worse.

Are they regularly unable to keep any commitments? (Yes/No)
As addiction worsens it makes it harder and harder for them to function normally. They may miss work or school, frequently be late for appointments and events, or miss them entirely. If your teenager is slowly becoming more and more addicted to drugs, it could slowly consume their life, until they can’t function day to day without it.

Are they suddenly very concerned about money/ have difficulty financially? (Yes, No)
Addiction to drugs and alcohol is expensive. If your child is suddenly very concerned with money, always seems to have no money, complains about having none and maybe even stealing it from you, it could be because of an addiction. Drug use is an expensive habit, and they will feel the financial strain as the addiction continues.

Do they frequently get into trouble (Yes, No)
If your teenager is addicted to drugs it will make it very hard for them to function normally in society and go on with their day to day lives. It may start off small, but getting into fights, breaking the law, getting suspended or expelled from school or fired from work all could be indications of substance abuse.

Score – How many times did you answer yes?
1-2 x Yes
Your teenager may just be going through a rough patch. It could be early signs or drug abuse, or it could just be normal teenage trouble. Keep a close eye on them, and be ready to spot if any more warning signs appear. The more you know, the better, so make sure to keep tabs on what they do and where they go, but without arousing their suspicion.

3-4 x Yes
It seems like something is definitely not right with your teenager. It may be early stages of drug and substance abuse, but it also might not be. You can try talking to them, but they will rarely admit to anything you accuse them of. You need more information before you can take any steps toward finding and fixing the problem. Snooping yourself could erode any trust they might have in you, and will likely be unhelpful anyway. A private investigator can help by confirming what they are up to and providing you with evidence so you can know for sure if they are using drugs.

5 – 6 x Yes
The warning signs are definitely there, and you should have cause for alarm. It is quite likely that they are addicted to some sort of drug. From alcohol abuse to ice, acid, marijuana and crack, your child could be suffering from an addiction. You need to know the facts in order to be able to help them. Where are they going, what are they doing? If you know the substance they are addicted to and when they are doing it, you can start to form a plan to help them. An investigator is your best bet at this point. They can run a discreet surveillance on your teenager to find out what you need to know without your teenager knowing.


Don’t let addiction ruin their lives. The earlier you intervene and the more knowledge you have, the better your chance of helping your teenager rehabilitate and get off drugs. If you need to know what’s going on with your son or daughter, or anyone you love or care about, the private detectives at Elite Investigations can help you. Our years of experience with this sort of investigation, as well as our discretion and professionalism, will help you get answers and get your child the help they need. If you think it’s time to know what your child is up to, give us a call on 1300 721 715 or email


Photo courtesy of marin and