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Use of alcohol, cigarettes, inhalants, and other drugs in adolescents is a major concern for parents. Preteens and teens are starting to use harmful and illegal substances at younger ages. Drinking, smoking, and drug use can affect your child's general health. They can also affect physical growth, emotional development, and school performance. You can recognize and respond to substance use by:
Try the following techniques.
If you think your teen may be using substances, look for warning signs. They include:
If you think that your teen has begun to experiment with alcohol or other substances:
Your teen may be having problems in school, at home, with relationships, or with the law related to substance use. These difficulties point to a substance use problem. If you think your teen is using any substance regularly or daily-such as alcohol, cigarettes, inhalants, or other drugs-don't ignore it. This use is serious. It should not be denied or minimized. Frequent or regular use of a substance can quickly lead to physical or psychological dependence. Or your teen may already be dependent on the substance.
To help your teen:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerPatrice Burgess, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerPeter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and AddictionChristine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
Current as ofMarch 23, 2017
Current as of: March 23, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
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