Substance Abuse

  • Teens and young adults are more inclined than adults to take risks, including smoking, drinking or using other drugs.

    Use of any addictive substance while the brain is still developing increases the chances of future use of that and other addictive substances. 


    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’ breath or clothing
    • Obvious intoxication, dizziness or bizarre behavior
    • Changes in dress and grooming
    • Changes in 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”

    If you notice any of these symptoms and think, your child may have a substance abuse problem and would like additional help please reach out to your child’s counselor. You will find additional information at the websites below.

    For More Information and Resources:
    Partnership to End Addiction
    Recovery Resource Council
    The Prevention Coalition
    Above the Influence