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Youth Drug Abuse 

According to the experts, the period just after an individual uses drugs is likely to be characterized by mood and behavioral swings – first euphoria, perhaps some unusual activity and/or excessive talking, sometimes a tendency to appear serene, often followed by a state of depression and withdrawal. Many of the symptoms of illegal drug use are found in teens abusing prescription drugs.  

Study after study reveals long-term drug users began their addiction before reaching the age of 18. This means seeking professional help is vital. The sooner someone seeks help the better. Most teens start taking drugs for recreational purposes. Their drug use can get out of control to the point where they are unable to say ‘no’. Many teens start with so-called ‘gateway’ drugs such as cannabis and then transition to harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Addiction is a progressive disease. Developing an addiction from an early age has serious consequences for a person's mental and physical health. Abusers are exposing his or her organs to deadly toxins. Furthermore, an addiction probably means a person is mixing with dangerous people such as drug dealers.

According to the experts, the period just after an individual uses drugs is likely to be characterized by mood and behavioral swings – first euphoria, perhaps some unusual activity and/or excessive talking, sometimes a tendency to appear serene, often followed by a state of depression and withdrawal. Many of the symptoms of illegal drug use are found in teens abusing prescription drugs. Other symptoms include:

  • Poor school performance; skipping school.
  • Inability to cope well with daily events.
  • Lack of attention to hygiene, grooming, and dress.>
  • Long periods of solitude.
  • Extremely defensive, negative, argumentative.
  • Frequent conflicts with others; verbally/physically abusive.
  • Sudden withdrawal from long-time friends/family/ activities.
  • Showing disregard for others.
  • Socializing with peers who may be drug users.
  • Showing unusual tension or depression.
  • Increasing need for money; stealing/shoplifting.
  • Being insincere, lying, conning, untrustworthy.
  • Stooped appearance and posture.
  • Dull or watery eyes; dilated or pinpoint pupils.
  • Overt indicators of substance abuse (e.g., drug equipment, needle marks).

If you have a friend, colleague or family member who is unfortunate enough to suffer from drug addiction then it is likely you are unsure how to help the person concerned. Choosing the help of a professional counsellor to conduct an intervention meeting in the presence of all those concerned could be the solution you seek. In fact, by intervening without the help of a professional counsellor you could risk making the situation even worse. The addiction has likely taken over your friend or loved one’s ability to rationally deal with your concerns and without the help of a professional, resistance is likely to arise.

Addicts often fail to understand the health and emotional consequences of addiction and often minimize the seriousness of the situation in their mind. Often arriving at a solution seems impossible. Even if you search the internet for a solution, the options available probably seem vast and confusing. Any solution you do find may be dismissed as unnecessary by the addict concerned.

For this reason, professional addiction intervention is often the smartest move you could make in ensuring your friend, colleague or loved one receives the required help.

Bureau of Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Phone: 601-359-1288 • Fax: 601-359-6295
24 hours a day every day / Toll-Free 1-877-210-8513
www.dmh.state.ms.us
 
Mississippi Community Mental Health Centers
Regions 1-15 Call toll free, 877-210-8513, for the center closest to you
or visit www.dmh.ms.gov/get-help/dmh-helpline
 
What a Difference a Friend Makes by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration
www.whatadifference.org • http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
 
National Institute on Drug Abuse
http://www.drugabuse.gov http://teens.drugabuse.gov
 
Parents: The Anti-Drug
www.theanti-drug.com 
 
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America
212-922-1560http://www.drugfree.org/parent
 
National Crime and Punishment Learning Center
(228) 896-8696www.crimeandpunishment.net 

Disclaimer: The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office is not responsible for the content of listed websites, which may have changed since review.

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