The use of alcohol and/or other chemicals are a detriment to an ado- lescent’s health and wellbeing. Early use of alcohol can permanently damage their ability to think and can increase dramatically, the risk that the adolescent will become dependent on alcohol at some point in his/ her lifetime. A 2009 survey conducted by Partnership for Results in the Auburn School District, indicated that for all students who admitted the use of alcohol in the past 30 days, started drinking at an average age of 14 or younger. Reported alcohol use within the past 30 days by 12th graders was 42%, 10th graders 32% and 8th graders 11%.
Red flags that might indicate alcohol/drug use:
Physical injuries including vehicle accidents, wounds, unex- plained or repeated injuries
Dilated/pinpoint pupils, tremors, perspiring, tachycardia, slurred/rapid speech all possibly indicating current use
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Persistent cough/frequent colds Risky behavior Unkempt appearance/poor hygiene Marked fall in academic/extracurricular performance Suicide talk/attempt; depression Lack of motivation Periods of paranoia Unexplained mood swings Track marks, injection sites Increased acne/skin rashes Unexplained weight loss/pale circles under eyes Change in sleep/eating habits
New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol
Missing prescription drugs—especially narcotics and mood stabilizers