What Are Some Warning Signs of Addiction in Children?

Alcohol and drug use are rampant in our culture, and overusing and abusing them are popularized and glamorized every day by our mainstream media and entertainment outlets. Young people are brainwashed into thinking that substance abuse represents coolness, popularity and likeability. Young people are experimenting at younger and younger ages, being pressured and influenced by their peers at school and in their communities. They are witnessing older family members using and succumbing to their addictions. They are affected by everything around them, and the widespread normalization of substance abuse is directly impacting their willingness to try drugs when they otherwise might have been more discerning. They also are often trying to escape their feelings of sadness, fear and worry. They’re trying to distract themselves from the boredom, restlessness, uneasiness and lack of purpose they’re feeling. Their stress levels are heightened from increasing pressures at school and at home, and they are using drugs to help them cope. They often are suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other mental health issues and turning to drugs to find relief from their emotional pain.

The warning signs for addiction in children often mirror the signs for mental health issues. Children might be increasingly despondent or display changes in their attitudes or energy levels. They might have worsened behavioral problems with their elders, their teachers, friends, siblings and other family members. They might start losing interest in the things that once made them happy. They might start separating themselves from old friends, or hanging out with brand new friends in an attempt to be perceived as cool and popular. They might start engaging in risky and dangerous behaviors, such as staying out late, partying with older kids, driving drunk, stealing cars or having unprotected sex. They might start missing school and neglecting their responsibilities. You might have a harder time getting them to do their chores, or even getting out of bed. They might have become so depressed alongside their addictions, or as a result of their addictions, that they appear visibly different to you.

Talking to our children early on and often is one of the best ways to prevent them from experimenting with drugs. We want them to feel safe and comfortable talking to us about anything, including difficult issues such as substance use. If they feel safe to be open and transparent with us, we have a better chance of having them talk to us if anything difficult comes up for them.

Corner Canyon Health Centers’s treatment programs provide you with the supportive and caring environment and trustworthy staff you need to achieve a successful recovery. Call 1-866-399-3469 today for more information.


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Liz Lund, MPA

Liz is originally from lush green Washington State. She is a life enthusiast and a huge fan of people. Liz has always loved learning why people are the way they are. She moved to UT in 2013 and completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2016. After college Liz worked at a residential treatment center and found that she was not only passionate about people, but also administration. Liz is recently finished her MPA in April 2022. Liz loves serving people and is excited and looking forward to learning about; and from our clients here at Corner Canyon.
When Liz is not busy working she love being outdoors, eating ice cream, taking naps, and spending time with her precious baby girl and sweet husband.