Worried about substance abuse in teens during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are the warning signs

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have a lot of free time on our hands.

For teenagers, sometimes a lot of free time can lead to bad habits.

Nicole Augustine from Talk It Out NC spoke with ABC11 about underage drinking in teenagers.

"Boredom is actually the number one reason that teens end up consuming a substance," said Augustine. "And in this unique situation where they're out of school, sometimes maybe even home alone, it's more likely that a young person might experiment or be in a situation where that happens."

What do parents need to look out for?

Augustine admits it is hard to see the signs of teenage drinking.

How to find mental health assistance

"Teenagers are changing so much. The body is going through a lot in general," said Augustine.

  • Mood swings - substances affect the brain and change brain chemistry

  • New Friends

  • Poor school performance

  • Changes in physical health

Augustine brought up how substance abuse can change for teens and adult during a crisis, noting how more alcohol is sometimes purchased during difficult times

How to get help
  • Connect with parents

  • Talk with neighbors

  • Get advice from others

  • Check out Talk It Out NC for more resources