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FC Home Mental Illness in Children Teen Substance Abuse


The information below is reprinted from the website WebMD.  If you wish to learn more about teen substance abuse, please visit their website at www.webmd.com.  If you have concerns about your child's behavioral health and wish to talk with someone, or have your child undergo an evaluation, please contact the Fulton County Oak Hill Child, Adolescent & Family Center at (404) 612-4111. 

The facility provides behavioral health services to youth between the ages of 0 to 21 years old, and is operated by the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities.   Below is information on teen substance abuse from the WebMD website:



According to WebMD, many teens try tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, but using these substances is not safe or legal.  Some teens try these substances only a few times and stop.  Others can't control their urges or cravings for them.  This is substance abuse. Teens may try a number of substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, household chemicals (inhalants), prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and illegal drugs.  Marijuana is the illegal drug that teens use most often.


According to WebMD, some of the signs of teen substance abuse include the following:

  • Red eyes and health complaints, such as being overly tired.¬† If a teen often uses over-the-counter eye drops, he or she may be trying to cover up red eyes caused by smoking marijuana.
  • Less interest in school, a drop in grades, and skipping classes or school altogether
  • New friends who have little interest in their families or school activities
  • Chemical-soaked rags or papers, which may mean that your teen is inhaling vapors.¬† Another sign of using inhalants is paint or other stains on a teen's clothing, hands or face.


According to WebMD, if your teen is using alcohol, tobacco or drugs, take it seriously.  One of the most important things you can do is to talk openly with your teen about the problem.  Urge him or her to do the same.  Try not to use harsh or judging words.  Be as supportive as you can during this time.   In most cases, a hostile, angry face-to-face meeting pushes your teen away from the family.  If you do not know what to do or if you feel uncomfortable, ask for help from a pediatrician, psychologist, or a psychiatrist.  You also can contact the Fulton County Oak Hill Child, Adolescent & Family Center at (404) 612-4111 to access our child and adolescent substance abuse services.

The type of treatment your teen needs depends on the level of substance abuse.  For example, if a teen has tried drugs or alcohol only a few times, talking openly about the problem may be all that you need to do to help your teen stop his or her substance abuse.  But if a teen has a substance abuse problem, then he or she needs to be seen by a doctor and/or counselor.


According to WebMD, talking openly and honestly with your teen and keeping a healthy home life may prevent your teen from trying alcohol or drugs.  You can help prevent substance abuse by using these tips:

  • Talk to your child early about what you expect in his or her behavior towards alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.¬† If your teen thinks that you will allow substance abuse, he or she is more likely to try drugs or alcohol
  • Keep your teen busy with meaningful activities such as sports or other forms of group activities
  • Expect your teen to follow the household rules.¬† Set reasonable penalties for bad behavior and consistently carry them out
  • Keep talking with your teen.¬† Praise your teen for even the little things he or she does well
  • Know your child's friends.¬† Having friends who avoid cigarettes, alcohol and drugs may be your teen's best protection from substance abuse












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