What are some signs that my child may be using alcohol or other drugs?

See www.DrugFree.org

In the normal course of adolescence, kids often exhibit symptoms that would give any rational adult pause. However, the presence and intensity of a cluster of disturbing symptoms could indicate a problem.

First, rule out any physical illness with a trip to the doctor. Ask the doctor to evaluate for depression or other emotional causes as well. If there's a clean bill of health and the symptoms are still present, follow your gut and locate a professional with experience with adolescent drug use.

Signs and Symptoms Common to Adolescents Who are Using Drugs:

  • Withdrawn, depressed, tired, or neglecting personal grooming
  • Hostile, uncooperative and frequently breaking curfew
  • Deteriorating relationships with family members
  • Hanging out with a new group of friends and unwilling to introduce them
  • Skipping school and experiencing dropping grades
  • Losing interest in hobbies, sports and other favorite activities
  • Changes in sleeping patterns (ie: awake at night, asleep during the day)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Extremely red eyes or runny nose without evidence of allergies or cold
  • Taking household money without permission

The following items present among your child’s belongings could be a concern:

  • Pipes or rolling papers
  • Small medicine bottles or unidentified pills
  • Eye drops
  • Butane lighters
  • Baby pacifiers
  • Incense
  • Drug-related books, comics, magazines, T-shirts, etc.
  • Locked boxes or containers

For more information contact us or request a copy of our Parent Resource Booklet which has more detailed information and a local list of resources. The Rapid City Public Library also has a section with books and other parent resources on substance abuse prevention or parenting.