Do You Suspect Your Teen Is Using Drugs or Alcohol?

Signs and symptoms — what should you look for?

  • A negative change in grades
  • A change in appearance – clothing, personal hygiene
  • Trying to hide the smell in a room or on the breath
  • New friends — particularly those you suspect may not be a good influence
  • Secrecy about activities
    Strange pupils – pinpoint or dilated
  • Missing money, prescription drugs or household items of value
    Evidence of drug paraphernalia – pipes, balloons, etc.


What can you do?
First, review the resources below.

If you believe your child is using alcohol or other drugs, take action as soon as you can. Talk to your child. Tell your child you are concerned and explain the serious consequences of using alcohol or other drugs. If you feel you need the support of a professional, call your family physician or seek the help of a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

The links and downloadable files below can provide guidance for discussing alcohol and drugs with a child of any age.