Red Ribbon Week 2016 – Warning Signs of Teen Substance Use

Certain symptoms and behaviors are warning signs for substance use in teens, although they may also indicate other problems, such as depression.  Warning signs can include:

  • Alcohol, smoke or other chemical odors on your child’s or their friends’ hands, breath or belongings
  • Obvious intoxication, dizziness or bizarre behavior
  • Changes in dress, grooming or choice of friends
  • Frequent arguments, sudden mood changes and unexplained violent actions
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Loss of interest in usual activities or hobbies
  • School problems such as declining or failing grades, poor attendance and recent discipline problems
  • Trauma or frequent injuries
  • Runaway and delinquent behavior
  • Depressed mood or talk about depression or suicide; suicide attempts

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. (2009). “Substance Abuse Prevention”

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