The use of drugs and alcohol by teens continues to be a problem in modern society. Teenagers are caught between adolescence and adulthood, and they experience a number of rapid physical and emotional changes. A teen may choose drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with these changes, or as a result of peer pressure and a need to fit in. It's important to remember that drugs and alcohol only add to these problems because they become a substitute of legitimate coping skills. Signs of a drug abuse often include a drop in grades, a change of friends, stealing money, needing drugs or alcohol to have fun, drinking or doing drugs alone, a rapid personality change, or a change in favorite activities. Open communication between parents and their teens can often calm parental fears and educate teens about the dangers of drug abuse. Teens need to know they can get quality, non-judgmental advice from their parents, and parents need to be reassured their teens will listen to their advice and make good decisions. For more information, consult a health care professional in your area.