Warning signs can indicate that there may be a problem that needs to be addressed. Many youth show behaviors in adolescence that can resemble warning signs of substance use but may be considered typical adolescent behavior.
The following behaviors in a youth might indicate drug or alcohol use:
- Mood changes (temper flare-ups, irritability, and defensiveness)
- Academic problems (poor attendance, low grades, disciplinary action)
- Changing friends and a reluctance to have parents/family get to know them
- A “nothing matters” attitude (lack of involvement in former interests, generally low energy)
- Finding substances (drug or alcohol) in the youth’s room or personal effects
- Physical or mental changes (memory lapses, poor concentration, lack of coordination, slurred speech, etc.)
If there is suspicion that a youth is using substances, it is important to first speak with them to get a better understanding of the situation. For assistance you may contact your School Based Mental Health Team or refer to your community based resources.
In Case of Emergency, Dial 9-1-1