Signs and Symptoms of Teen Drinking or Drug Use

How can you tell if your child is using drugs or alcohol? It is difficult because changes in mood or attitudes, show of temper, changes in sleeping habits and changes in hobbies or favorite activities are common teenage behaviors. So, what should you look for? Changes warrant attention.

It is important to keep an eye open for significant changes in physical appearance, personality, attitude or behavior. Look for potential causes for these changes; stay vigilant.

Then WHAT?

These types of changes may signal that something harmful is going on… and that it can involve alcohol or other drugs. If there is concern that alcohol or other drugs are involved you may want to take your child to the doctor and ask that the doctor screen your child for drugs and alcohol. You may want to talk to your doctor or other professional about the deeper problems of depression or mood changes.

If you suspect gang involvement you should reach out to assistance within the school system or law enforcement to discuss your concerns.

The key is to monitor and pay attention to your child’s behavior. Keep the lines of communication open.

Sources: Parents: The Anti Drug,, Phoenix House

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