As a parent you may notice changes in your adolescent and are wondering if you should be concerned. Below is a list of signs and symptoms that may indicate drug and alcohol use. Day One is here to provide accurate information and advice to help you. You can reach us at 207-874-1045 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential consultation.
This weekly group is facilitated by an experienced clinician at our South Portland office. It is an open group and parents are invited to participate at any time. Parents who are dealing with their child’s substance abuse struggles and are seeking new tools and support find this to be a helpful resource.
Signs and Symptoms
Look for physical changes: Loss of appetite (but with a craving for sweets, called the ‘munchies’), sudden loss of weight, change in sleep patterns, extreme moodiness, reddened or watery eyes, dilated or pin-point pupils, occasional memory loss, slurred and slow speech, lack of energy, disturbed sleep patterns, chronic coughing and poor coordination including staggering or stumbling movements.
Look for behavioral changes: Change in school work, lack of commitment, skipping school, loss of interest and deterioration in quality of school work, drop in grades, change in friends, reluctance to introduce new friends, loss of enthusiasm, withdrawal from hobbies and sports, loss of interest in past activities/sports, becoming silent/withdrawn, staying away from home and/or school for unexplained periods, irritability and over-reaction to criticism, unusual request for money, devious and manipulative behavior, lack of pride in personal appearance, frequent unexplained phone calls and loss of concentration.
What Parents Can Do
There are many things that parents can do to help keep their teens off drugs and alcohol, including:
- Talking to your child
- Knowing who his/her friends are
- Teaching your teens how to have fun without drinking or doing drugs
- Regularly helping him/her with homework
- Encouraging your teen to seek your help on important decisions
- Eating meals together as a family whenever possible
- Setting limits
- Knowing where your child is and what he/she is doing
- Being aware of household items that could be abused and how much is in the bottle: whipped cream and aerosol cans, nail polish remover, hair spray, paint spray, cough medicine, correction fluid, gasoline, prescription drugs/medication, glue, cleaning fluids