Drug and Alcohol Awareness

Know What to Look For
(Credit to the American Addiction Center Resource - Drugabuse.com)
Recognizing the Signs of Substance Abuse

Drug abuse affects people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic statuses. Whatever the reason a person starts taking drugs, whether recreationally or as prescribed, tolerance and dependence may develop for some people—sometimes before the user even realizes it.

When a full-blown substance-use disorder (SUD) develops, it can be extremely difficult to stop using drugs without effective professional treatment. Drug use can wreak havoc on the body and mind and may eventually become deadly. When you realize that you or someone you love has a problem, it's essential to get help right away. There is no shame in admitting that you need treatment for drug use; doing so can be life-saving.

Use of most substances will produce noticeable signs and symptoms. These may include physical or behavioral symptoms—most likely both.
Image of Drug Abuse Symptoms: Physical and Behavioral

Physical Symptoms

Some of the most noticeable symptoms of drug use are those that affect the body’s inner workings. For example, your body’s tolerance to a drug occurs when a drug is used long or often enough that increased quantities or strengths are required to achieve the previous effects.

Individuals using a drug for a high may come to take such high doses to overcome a tolerance that they subject themselves to potentially fatal overdose.

Changes in appearance can be additional clues to possible drug use and may include:
  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes.
  • Dilated or constricted pupils.
  • Abrupt weight changes.
  • Problems sleeping or sleeping too much.

Signs will vary based on the substance

Behavioral Symptoms

Drug use tends to significantly alter a person's behavior and habits. Some drugs can impair the brain's ability to focus and think clearly.

Changes in behavior, such as the following, can indicate a problem with drug abuse:
  • Increased aggression or irritability.
  • Changes in attitude/personality.
  • Lethargy.
  • Depression.
  • Sudden changes in a social network.
  • Dramatic changes in habits and/or priorities.
  • Involvement in criminal activity.
Learning to recognize the physical or behavioral signs of drug use can help prevent the program from progressing further.

Finding the perfect treatment is only one phone call away!


Take Action
If you believe your child has a drug or alcohol abuse problem, please ask for help:
  • Contact his/her Pediatrician for a referral
  • Contact your child's school counselor

As we continue to work on providing a safe environment for personal growth and learning, please help our District by being our eyes and ears. If you see or hear something, say something, say something. Please text our Tip Reporting Hotline at (909) 278-8601 with any important information.

Additional Resources

Drug and Alcohol abuse may also stem from stress in our teens' lives. Teenagers, like adults, may experience stress every day and can benefit from learning stress management skills. Most teens experience more stress when they perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful and they do not have the resources to cope. Please visit the "Stress Management and Teens" article developed by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for more information.

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