Friday, December 01, 2006

Behavioral Signs of Substance Use and Abuse

Educators and law enforcement officials, especially those assigned to juvenile bureaus and school resource officers, are called to vigilance in recognizing the signs of youth needing assistance.  Leadership and collaboration are critical qualities of the committed educator and police professional. Understanding and utilizing the resources available in the information age is another dimension of collaboration.

Substance use and abuse is one of the issues affecting those entrusted to our care. The American Council for Drug Education website is an excellent resource and highlights the signs that should raise a warning flag:
  1. Sudden decline in school achievement
  2. Cigarette smoking
  3. Shift in the child's peer group
  4. Erosion of parental trust
  5. Support of legalizing marijuana
  6. Marked personality changes
  7. Withdrawal from extracurricular activities
  8. Cutting classes, tardiness or truancy
  9. Deterioration in appearance
  10. Increased secretiveness
  11. Going out every night
  12. Disappearance of family funds
  13. Aggressive behavior
  14. Heavy use of over-the-counter preparations
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