Teen Drug Abuse

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Quick GuideTeen Drug Abuse Pictures Slideshow: Statistics, Facts and Symptoms

Teen Drug Abuse Pictures Slideshow: Statistics, Facts and Symptoms

What are the symptoms and warning signs of drug abuse?

Ways to recognize that a person is intoxicated or "high" on a drug depends on the substance with which he or she is intoxicated and include the following:

  • Tobacco products: frequent smell of tobacco, irritability, discolored fingertips, lips or teeth, cigarette butts at curbside
  • Cannabinoids: reddened whites of eyes, sleepiness, excessive hunger, lack of motivation, excessive happiness, paranoia
  • Cold medications: sleepiness, rapid or slowed heart rate
  • Inhalants: runny nose, smell of gasoline or other solvent, confusion or irritability
  • Depressants: sleepiness, lowered inhibitions, poor coordination, slowed heart rate or blood pressure, dizziness, coma, death in overdose
  • Stimulants: rapid heart rate or blood pressure, irritability, excessive happiness, less need for sleep, paranoia, seizures
  • Narcotics: less experiencing of pain, excessive happiness, sleepiness, slowed or stopped breathing, coma, death in overdose
  • Hallucinogens: trouble sleeping, blurred perceptions, paranoia
  • Dissociative anesthetics: higher blood pressure and heart rate, memory loss, nausea and vomiting, irritability, aggressiveness
  • Club drugs (for example, Ecstasy): feverish teen that does not sweat, finding multiple lollipops or other hard candies, the teen seeming to love everyone and/or have an excessively happy mood (euphoria)
  • Others (for example, anabolic steroids): increased irritability or aggressiveness, rapid increase in muscle definition, thinning or loss of head hair, marked increase in acne over a short period of time, finding needles

The physical symptoms of withdrawal from these drugs are often nearly the opposite of the effects of intoxication.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/18/2015

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  • Teen Drug Abuse - Treatments

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  • Teen Drug Abuse - Drug Types

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