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March 30, 2008

How Do I Tell If My Child Is Using Drugs?

Parents and family members often ask me "how do I tell if my child is using drugs."  Two years ago we joined with several other parents whose children have struggled with substance abuse to form The 24 Group who mission is that we believe those touched by addiction in adolescence and young adulthood deserve support and advocacy. Because current resources are inadequate, The 24 Group exists to provide a means for those in need of addiction education and recovery support. 

As part of that mission we developed a list of 24 warning signs based upon our personal experience.

24 Warning Signs of Adolescent Drug or Alcohol Addiction


  1. Loss of interest in hobbies, sports or other favorite activities
  2. School grades have declined dramatically
  3. Difficult time concentrating on tasks
  4. Change in sleeping patterns, up all-night or sleeping all day
  5. Withdrawn, depressed, tired, careless, or manipulative
  6. Hostile, disrespectful, untruthful, and uncooperative
  7. Relationships with family members and friends has deteriorated
  8. Money is missing from the household
  9. An increase in borrowing money from family members and friends
  10. Physical health has declined, bloodshot eyes, bulging veins, runny nose
  11. Dramatic mood swings
  12. Missing prescription drugs, cold medicines, alcohol, aerosol containers in the home
  13. Increased secrecy about possessions or activities
  14. Personal hygiene has deteriorated
  15. Dramatic weight loss
  16. Finding drug paraphernalia hidden in the home, pipes, rolling papers, eye drops, butane lighters, soft drink containers made in to pipes, etc.
  17. Inhalant products, rags, computer duster, paint, nail polish, paper or plastic bags etc. hidden in the home
  18. Truancy and tardiness to school or a job
  19. Changes in fashion, hairstyle, use of breath mints, fascination with the drug culture
  20. Sudden change in friends, numerous secretive phone calls
  21. Use of room deodorant or incense in their room
  22. Physically abusive, aggressive, punching holes in walls, etc.
  23. Has anyone told you that your child is using drugs?
  24. Odd phone calls, sneaking out of the house, etc.




March 30, 2008 at 08:35 PM in The Odyssey | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack