Signs to Watch For
Some of the signs of alcohol abuse below may also be "normal" adolescent behavior.
What is not "normal", however, is if more than a few of the following signs listed
below are present. Such a combination of changes could indicate a serious problem.
Personality or Behavior Changes
- Abrupt changes in mood or attitude
- More irritable or argumentative
- Sudden decline in attendance or performance at school
- Rebelling against family rules
- Sudden resistance to discipline at school
- Uncharacteristic withdrawal from family or friends
- "Nothing matters" attitude; no interest in school, sports or activities that used to be important
- Physical, emotional, or mental problems
- Memory lapses
- Poor concentration
- Needs more money-or money missing
- Heightened secrecy about actions or possessions
- Switching friends
- Associating with a new group of friends whom your teen refuses to discuss
- Finding alcohol in your child's room or belongings
- Less appetite or continually hungry
- Loss or gain of weight
- Less interested in appearance
- Circles under eyes and pale skin, including face
- Bloodshot eyes
- Slurred or rapid speech
- Smell of alcohol on breath, or sudden, frequent use of breath mints
Please visit http://timetoact.drugfree.org by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America for an excellent online resource to help you learn more.
The Office of Substance Abuse Information & Resource Center is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at 1-800-499-0027 (TTY: 800-215-7604). Staff has listings of licensed treatment agencies in Maine, support group meetings, books, brochures, and more.
(Excerpts adapted from "Make a Difference" National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Keeping Your Kids Drug-Free" by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the "National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse VI:Teens" February
2001 conducted by QEV Analytics and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.)
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