DEA Tip of the Week: Resources and tips for substance use disorder

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Addiction can happen at any age, but the Drug Enforcement Agency said it usually starts when a person is young.

The DEA El Paso Division said there are different signs to know if your teen or young adult may have a substance use disorder.

You want to look out when adolescents start behaving differently for no apparent reason, including acting withdrawn, frequently tired or depressed or hostile. Carlos Briano, public information officer for the DEA El Paso Division, said this could be a sign they are developing a drug-related problem.

“Parents and others may overlook such signs, believing them to be a normal part of puberty,” said Briano.

Other warning signs include a change in peer groups, carelessness with grooming, decline in academic performance, missing classes or skipping school, loss of interest in favorite activities, trouble in school or with the law, changes in eating or sleeping habits and deteriorating relationships with family members and friends.

“Intervening early when you first spot signs of drug use in your teen is critical; don’t wait for your teen to become addicted before you seek help. Through scientific advances, we know more than ever before about how drugs work in the brain,” said Briano. “We also know that addiction can be successfully treated to help young people stop using drugs and lead productive lives. However, if a teen is addicted, treatment is the next step.”

The DEA has different websites you can visit:

You can also call the free Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP to receive guidance and referrals 24/7.

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