Signs and Symptoms

Growing up is a time of great change and sometimes this can be challenging for young people. They are learning about themselves, the world and taking very important decisions about where their life will go. Often this results in changes in school work and/or attendance, mood swings, changes in appearance, excessive tiredness, change of peer group, lack of appetite etc.


It can be tempting as a parent to think these behaviours or changes may be caused by using drugs or alcohol but often young people struggle with this stage in their life. Unless you happen to be with your child while they are intoxicated or high on drugs you may not see any clear signs and symptoms. Even behaviour that seems like intoxification could be due to other things such as mental health problems or shock.

A danger with following lists of signs and symptoms is that you will jump to the wrong conclusion. If you feel that there is something wrong with your child or that they are acting strangely talk to them about what is going on in their life. Trying to spot signs and symptoms of drug use is no substitute for good communication and helping your child figure out the best way of managing challenges in their life.