The following is a list I have compiled of what you should look for to help determine if your child/teenager is drinking alcohol or using drugs:

1) Changes in Personal Appearance

Unusual body odor or poor hygiene habits
Flushed or red cheeks
Disheveled appearance
Wearing long sleeves even in warm weather
“Track Marks” (intravenous drug use)
Burn marks on lips and/or fingers
Hidden stashes of alcohol, cigarettes, lighters, toilet paper rolls

2) Changes in Behavior

Mood Swings
Withdrawn or depressed
Uncommunicative
Anger
Dishonesty
Clumsiness
Excessive sleeping
Lethargy
Hyperactivity
Poor eye contact

3) Increased Health Issues

Frequent illness
Nausea
Runny nose (not allergy or cold related)
Nosebleeds
Vomiting
Excessive thirst
Sudden weight change
Bruising
Excessive perspiration

4) Changes in Personal Habits

Excessive gum chewing
Reliance on eyedrops and breath mints
Breaking of curfew
Smell of smoke on clothes, breath and belongings
Increased appetite
Locked doors
Unsafe driving
Teeth clenching

5) School and/or Work Related Changes

Drop in grades
Lack of interest
Reports of suspected drug or alcohol use from teachers or co-workers
Refusal to do homework
Skipping class (truancy)

6) Suspected Thievery

Missing money
Missing valuables
Missing alcohol
Missing cigarettes
Missing drugs (prescription or over-the-counter)

Specific Symptoms of Alcohol Intoxication: slurred speech, lack of coordination, failure to make eye contact, alcohol on the breath and bloodshot eyes.

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