The Warning Signs of Teens Who Drink and Drug
son is in ninth grade. For the last 10 years Ive known who his friends were.
There have been some I liked, others I wished that he would stay away from, and others I
didnt have much of an opinion about one way or the other. Be that as it may, so far
so good, things have gone pretty trouble free. However, hes in a new school,
hes running with a new circle of friends, most of whom I dont know. The few
new friends that I do know have me concerned. Although, to this point in time, weve
had a fairly open relationship, hes become more and more distant. Where once his
bedroom door was always kept open, now he keeps it closed and locked all the time. His
answers to my questions about where hes been, who hes been with, and what
hes been up to are getting more and more vague. This kid used to be as regular as a
Swiss clock but lately his behavior has struck me as being erratic. I too once was in
ninth grade and I know that I didnt want my parents poking into my business. On the
other hand, I know the trouble that 15 year olds can get into. Im especially
concerned about drugs and alcohol. I love my kid, but hes more of a follower than a
leader. When it comes to just saying no my kids going to have more
trouble with that than most. How can I tell if and when my son winds up on the slippery
slope of peer pressure, making dangerous choices, and getting involved with drugs and
letter articulates a common fear most parents of teenage children have. The fear is only
exacerbated by the fact that there is no exact science to determine whether your son is
getting involved with drugs and alcohol. The fact that there is no exact science to help
you precisely evaluate whether or not your son may be getting involved with alcohol and
other drugs is compounded by the fact that it is oftentimes difficult to discern the
difference between signs of growing up and surefire signs that your son is involved with
alcohol and other drugs.
said all of that, here are some signs to monitor. Let me remind you of a simple
axiomthere is no substitute for an open relationship with your son, a
relationship in which the lines of communication are open, supportive, and free of
the following signs:
Mood swing are not unusual for most teenagers. What is important to note is the
extremeness of the mood swings. Is your child one minute happy and shortly thereafter
withdrawn, depressed, or explosive with fits of anger or rage?
Be aware of who your child spends time with. Is your child still with the same crowd
that he typically spends time with or has he become involved with a new circle of friends?
Youre familiar with the norms of behavior with your sons old circle of friend.
Are the norms the same or are they changing with his new circle of friends? Is your son
reluctant to let you get to know to his friends?
Performance in School
Monitor your sons performance in school. Are his study habits the same or are they
changing? Changing for the better or the worse? Is his behavior at school changing for the
better or worse. Detentions? Skipping class? Skipping days?
If your son has started getting involved with alcohol and other drugs, its likely
that his health will be impacted. Is his appetite the same? Is he developing digestive
problems? Has he become suddenly accident prone? Has his sleeping habits changed?
Have you noticed any alcoholic beverages missing? Have you noticed any prescriptive
medications tampered with? Have you stumbled on empty containers or unexplained bottles
around your home or in your yard? Has your son developed a sudden interest in the
collection of drug paraphernalia?
Have you noticed your child ridiculing anti-drug or anti-alcohol programs, materials,
or literature? Has he been in trouble with the law for any reason? Has he developed a bad
attitude toward any authority figures in his life? Has your son become dishonest? Has your
son started to rebel against family rules? Has he adopted a nothing matters
attitude? Has he developed a lack of involvement in former interests?
Has your sons hairstyle changed? Is he wearing a different style of clothes that
better enables him to fit into his peer group? Has your son had body piercing or tattoos
done. Has his personal hygiene deteriorated?
Has your child been arrested for using alcohol and other drugs? Has a school official or
other parent(s) told you that your son is using alcohol and other drugs? Has your child
been arrested for shoplifting? Have you noticed money missing from the usual places that
you and/or your spouse keep money? Have you seen your son stagger? Have you noticed that
there are times when his speech is slurred? Have you noticed that his pupils change size
or that his eyes are bloodshot?
forget that these are signs that can be attributed to the use of alcohol and other drugs
but these signs may just as likely be signs of being an adolescent. But if you have
noticed a pattern of several of these signs, dont ignore them. Start investigating
whats going on. If you feel like youre in over your head, seek professional
guidance to assist you in determining whats going on with your son.
from chemical dependency and its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to
choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frischs, Psy.D.
Recovery book seriesFrom Insanity to Serenity.
Read Dr. Steve Frischs, Psy.D. series of Recovery books, From Insanity to Serenity.
These books focus on chemical dependency, how to raise alcohol and other drugs free
children, and Recovery for both the chemically dependent individual and their friends and
Fact Sheets about How to Raise an Alcohol and Drug-Free Child
3.) Read Fact Sheets about Information
About Alcohol and Other Drugs
4.) Read the
Fact Sheet, Referrals
5.) Read Fact
Sheet, Warning Signs of Alcohol and Other Drugs Abuse
Entering the World of Your Child: How to Nurture Your Childs Spirit by Dr.
Steve Frisch, Psy.D.
7.) Read A Parents
Guide for Protecting Their Children From Alcohol and Other Drugs by Dr. Steve Frisch,
8.) Read But Im Not The One With the Problem: How to Cope With a Loved One Who
Abuses Alcohol and Other Drugs, by Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.