The use and abuse of alcohol and drugs are serious issues that should not be ignored or minimized. If left untreated, use and abuse can develop into substance use disorder. As a result, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse early. If you're worried that your student might be abusing alcohol or drugs, here are some of the warning signs to look for:
Physical and Health Warning Signs of Drug Abuse
- Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance.
- Eyes that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal.
- Frequent nosebleeds could be related to snorted drugs (meth or cocaine).
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
- Impaired coordination, injuries/accidents/bruises that they won't or can't tell you about- they don't know how they got hurt.
Behavioral Signs of Alcohol or Drug Abuse
- Clashes with family values and beliefs.
- Using eye drops to mask bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils
- Demanding more privacy, locking doors and avoiding eye contact.
- Using incense, perfume, air freshener to hide smell of smoke or drugs.
- Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.