November 21, 2014
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Recognizing the Warning Signs

This section will help parents be one of the winning factors in our fight against drugs. Here you will find articles and information to help you spot the early warning signs and symptoms of drug use.

Warning signs of a potential drug problem include:

If you notice unexplained changes in physical appearance or behavior, it may be a sign of substance use – or it could be a sign of another problem. You will not know definitively until a professional does a screening.

Physical Signs

  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred or agitated speech
  • Sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Skin abrasions/bruises
  • Neglected appearance/poor hygiene
  • Sick more frequently
  • Accidents or injuries

Behavioral Signs

  • Hiding use; lying and covering up
  • Sense that the person will “do anything” to use again regardless of consequences
  • Loss of control or choice of use (drug-seeking behavior)
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Emotional instability
  • Hyperactive or hyper-aggressive
  • Depression
  • Missing school or work
  • Failure to fulfill responsibilities at school or work
  • Complaints from teachers or co-workers
  • Reports of intoxication at school or work
  • Furtive or secretive behavior
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Locked doors
  • Going out every night
  • Change in friends or peer group
  • Change in clothing or appearance
  • Unusual smells on clothing or breath
  • Heavy use of over-the-counter preparations to reduce eye reddening, nasal irritation, or bad breath
  • Hidden stashes of alcohol
  • Alcohol missing from your supply
  • Prescription medicine missing
  • Money missing
  • Valuables missing
  • Disappearances for long periods of time
  • Running away
  • Secretive phone calls
  • Unusual containers or wrappers

For more help read: Keeping Kids Drug Free

Or call hot lines: 800.662.HELP or 800.821.HELP