Signs and Symptoms

Concerned your child might be experimenting with nicotine, alcohol, marijuana or other drugs? Below are some signs to look out for:

Changes in behavior

  • Missing school, declining grades or discipline problems
  • Dropping old friends and getting new ones
  • Dropping activities such as sports
  • Increased secrecy
  • Unusual borrowing of money
  • Sudden mood changes, aggressiveness, irritability
  • Restlessness, excessively talkative, rapid speech
  • Irresponsible behavior, poor judgment
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness, slurred speech, or difficulty expressing thoughts
  • Lack of coordination, poor balance

 

More direct evidence of substance use

  • Increased use of incense, room deodorant or perfumes (to hide smoke or chemical odors)
  • Increased use of eye drops (to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils)
  • New use of mouthwash or breath mints (to cover the smell of alcohol)
  • Drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers
  • Increased accumulation of inhalable products such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, etc.
  • Missing alcohol or prescription drugs – such as narcotics, stimulants and mood stabilizers

 

If you're concerned your child might be using