Teen Addiction: Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Teen Addiction: Signs Your Teen Might be Abusing Prescription Drugs

Signs of Prescription Drug AbuseOne of the most common addictions is to prescription drugs. This addiction can begin for a multitude of reasons. It may come from a pressure to perform at school, so they start using prescription medication to help increase focus and performance in their classes. Sometimes prescription drugs are used to suppress appetite so they can lose weight. It can also be as simple as peer pressure from their friend group that causes your teen to experiment with and then become hooked on prescription drugs.Whatever the reason, prescription drug abuse is a serious concern that can have a severe effect on your teen’s health and can even lead to death. Some symptoms can help alert you to your teen’s addiction in time to help them. We’ve written a list of some of the most common symptoms for each classification of prescription drug.


This classification of prescription drugs is used to treat things like anxiety and sleeping disorders. Some of the signs of teen addiction to this type of prescription drug include:
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory trouble
  • Dizziness or lack of coordination
  • Depressed respiratory activity
  • Lowered blood pressure


Prescribed to treat ADD or ADHD, stimulants cause increased alertness, mood, and energy. These drugs are often abused in a school setting to enhance academic performance. The most common types of stimulants are Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Vyvanse, etc. Some of the symptoms involving stimulants that point toward teen addiction are:Reduced appetite and/or sudden weight loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Flushing skin due to high body temperatures
  • Paranoia or anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation or aggression


This is the most commonly abused type of prescription drug. Opioids are pain relievers that are widely prescribed after surgery or an injury. They are highly addictive and often individuals who need them for extended periods of time struggle quitting. If your teen is in a situation where they are required to use pain relievers, make sure to monitor them closely. Here are some ways to spots teen addiction to opioid pain relievers:
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion and/or lack of coordination
  • Depressed respiratory activity
  • Nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Watery or droopy eyes
  • Persistent flu-like symptoms

Other symptoms

Other symptoms of teen addiction that apply to all three categories of prescription drugs are:
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • “Losing” prescriptions on a regular basis
  • Trying to get prescriptions from more than one doctor

Why trust Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge with your teen’s addiction?

If your child is abusing prescription drugs, then now is the time to act. Make sure to get them the help they need to treat their teen addiction before it’s too late. At Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge, we offer a holistic healing program that will help address the root causes of your teen’s addiction and help them move past it. Your child can have victory over their addiction. Contact us if you would like to talk more about how our program can help your son!
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