Warning signs may include distance from family and existing friends, hanging out with a new circle of friends, lack of interest in personal appearance, or changes in eating or sleeping habits. These changes often signal that something harmful is going on -- and often that involves alcohol or drugs. You may want to take your child to the doctor and ask him or her about screening your child for drugs and alcohol. This may involve the health professional asking your child a simple question, or it may involve a urine or blood drug screen. However, some of these signs also indicate there may be a deeper problem with depression, or even suicidal thoughts. Be on the watch for these signs so that you can spot trouble before it goes too far.
If you have a concern consider contacting a counseling professional, your child's school guidance counselor, or Dublin's Safe and Drug-Free School's coordinator:
GeorgiAnn Diniaco, Ph.D.