Drug & Alcohol Warning Signs

Warning signs your teen is using drugs and/or alcohol.

• Changes in friends or social circle

• Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school, or declining grades

• Increased secrecy about belongings or activities

• Changes in sleep patterns, insomnia or habitually napping right after school

• Irregular eating patterns

• Health issues, frequent colds, and upper respiratory infections, change in appetite, sleep difficulties, nervousness, fatigue and depression

• Overuse of incense, room deodorizer, or perfume to hide smoke or other odors

• Use of tobacco, addiction to nicotine, a gateway to other drug use

• Subtle changes in conversations with friends, i.e. more secretive, using “coded” language

• Change in clothing choices: new fascination with clothes that highlights drug use

• Increase in borrowing money

• Evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc.

• Evidence of use of inhalant products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, common household products); rags and paper bags are sometimes used as accessories

• Bottle of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils

• New – Use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol

• Missing prescription drugs – especially narcotics and mood stabilizers

• Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed


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