Signs and symptoms

Determining if a young person is using mind-altering chemicals is not easy because many of the feelings and behaviors can be displayed by a normal, healthy adolescent. On the other hand, many of the indicators of substance abuse can also signify a serious emotional problem or even mental illness. The following is a list of readily observable indicators that can signify adolescent substance abuse.

Deterioration of school performance

Loss of interest in school or extracurricular activities

Change in peer relationships

Physical appearance - dress and self-care

Physical appearance - behavioral

Fluctuation in feelings

Deterioration of thinking

Deterioration of motivation