How to Recognize Signs of Substance Abuse in Your Young Adult

Table of Contents

Ready to be Mentored?

Contact us for more information today.

As a parent, one of your deepest fears might be discovering that your child is struggling with substance abuse. It’s a troubling thought, but being proactive about recognizing the signs can make a significant difference in getting them the help they need.

What Is Substance Abuse

Substance abuse means using drugs or alcohol in a way that harms you or others. It includes everything from drinking too much alcohol to using drugs like marijuana, cocaine, or prescription medications without following the doctor’s orders. This kind of use can hurt your health, your relationships, and how you handle responsibilities at work or school.

It’s essential to spot the signs of substance abuse early. This is because everyone reacts differently to drugs and alcohol. Some people might start showing problems quickly, like getting into trouble at work or arguing more with family. Others might hide their issues well, making it harder to notice something wrong.

Catching these signs early helps a lot because you can start helping sooner. Early help can stop things from worsening and make it easier for the person to recover. That’s why knowing what to look out for is vital for parents, teachers, and friends.

Signs of Addiction in Your Child

When it comes to recognizing addiction signs in your child, the indicators can be varied but generally revolve around noticeable changes in their behavior, appearance, and overall health. Here are some specific things to watch for:

  1. Changes in Appearance: You might see sudden weight changes — either loss or gain — that don’t have an apparent reason, like diet or exercise habits. Pay attention to their hygiene as well; if your child stops taking care of their appearance, such as not showering regularly or wearing dirty clothes, it could be a warning sign.
  2. Physical Signs: Look for unexplained bruises, injuries, or marks. Red or glassy eyes and frequent nosebleeds can also be signs of substance use, depending on the substance involved.
  3. Behavioral Changes: Addiction can cause a shift in how your child acts. They might become more secretive, hiding their phone or computer screens when you’re around or changing their password frequently. Reframing from family life, like skipping family dinners or outings, is another red flag.
  4. Social Changes: Changes in your child’s social circle can be a significant indicator. If they suddenly switch friends, especially if their new group is less forthcoming about what they do together, or if they avoid old friends, it might be time to find out why.
  5. Emotional Changes: Mood swings are common in young adults, but if these are severe or unusual, such as sudden bursts of anger or appearing emotionally flat and unresponsive, it might indicate an underlying issue like addiction.

Suppose you start noticing several of these signs, especially if they appear suddenly or intensify over time. In that case, it’s essential to approach your child in a supportive way to explore what might be causing these changes.

Lifestyle Independence’s Intervention Programs

At Lifestyle Independence, we understand that each substance abuse case is unique. Our programs cater to the specific needs of young adults and their families. Our Crisis Interventions provide immediate assistance, Parent Support and coaching to educate and empower families, and Counseling and mentoring offer ongoing support to nurture recovery and resilience. We focus on providing a safe, confidential, and supportive environment to address substance abuse and its underlying causes.

How to Support Your Child

Supporting a child who may be struggling with addiction involves open communication without judgment. Encourage honest dialogue about their feelings and struggles. Educate yourself about addiction and its complexities to better understand what your child is facing. Additionally, seek professional help. Reaching out to intervention services like Lifestyle Independence can give your family the guidance to navigate this challenging time.

Contact Us Today To Get The Support You Need

Recognizing the signs of substance abuse in your young adult is the first step towards helping them reclaim their health and future. If you suspect your child is struggling, don’t hesitate to act. Lifestyle Independence is here to support you with specialized intervention programs that respect the dignity of each and foster recovery. Share this post to spread awareness, or contact our team for more information on how we can help your family move forward together.


Signs include sudden behavioral changes, mood swings, altered appearance, secrecy, and withdrawal from family activities.

Look for physical signs like weight changes or unexplained injuries, as well as behavioral signs such as isolation, change in friends, and academic or work issues.

Approach your child with care and concern rather than accusations. Offer support and consider seeking professional help from services like Lifestyle Independence.

We offer Crisis Interventions, Parent Support and coaching, and Counseling and mentoring to address substance abuse, tailored to each family’s needs.

While addiction is a chronic condition, it can be managed successfully with the proper treatment and support, leading to long-term recovery.