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Diseases reference index «Drug signs and teenagers»

Although some surveys suggest that drug use in teens has decreased since 2001, the numbers are still quite high. Over 17% of high school students admit use of illegal drugs within one month of when they were asked and more than 40% of those over 12 years old say that they have tried an illegal substance at least once.

Some signs of possible drug use include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Persistent cough
  • Pupils of eyes extremely big (dilated) or extremely small (pinpoint); nystagmus (rapid eye motion) might be a sign of PCP abuse
  • Loss of appetite (occurs with amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine use)
  • Increased appetite (with marijuana use)
  • Sluggishness, listlessness, or constant sleeping (opiate drugs such as heroine, codeine; or may occur when coming down off stimulant drugs)
  • Hyperactivity (as seen with "uppers" such as cocaine, methamphetamine)
  • Poor school performance and increased school absenteeism
  • Withdrawal from family and extracurricular activities
  • Change in group of friends
  • Unusual odor on breath (inhalant drugs)
  • Secretive behavior
  • Lying or stealing
  • Slow or slurred speech (downers and depressants)
  • Rapid, explosive speech (uppers)
  • Unsteady gait (ataxia)

Early intervention may decrease the likelihood that drug use will continue in this population.

See: Drug abuse and dependence and drug abuse

Alternative Names

Teenagers and drugs

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