SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE
Team of Concern (through Preferred Family Healthcare) is a free school based program for middle and high school students in St. Charles County. The objective of Team of Concern is to provide prevention and intervention services to at-risk students as well as provide awareness education to the entire school community.
It is important to keep in mid that if a child shows any of the following symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is using drugs. The presence of some of these behaviors could be the product of adolescent stress. Others may be symptoms of depression or another mental health concern. Whatever the cause, they may warrant attention, especially if the persist or occur in a cluster. A mental health professional or a caring or concerned adult may help a youngster successfully overcome a crisis and develop more effective coping skills. This can often prevent further problems.
The key is change; it is important to watch for any significant changes in your child’s physical appearance, personality, attitude or behavior.
Loss of appetite, increase in appetite, any changes in eating habits, unexplained weight loss or gain, slowed or staggering walking, poor physical coordination, inability to sleep, awake at unusual time, unusual laziness, red/watery eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual, blank stare, cold/sweaty palms, shaking hands, puffy face, blushing or paleness, smell of substance on breath/body/clothes, extreme hyperactivity, excessive talkativeness, runny nose, hacking cough, needle marks on lower arm, legs or feet, nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating, irregular heartbeat
Change in overall attitude/personality with no other identifiable cause; changes in friends, new hang outs, sudden avoidance of old crowd; doesn’t want to talk about new friends, new friends are known drug users; change in activities or hobbies; drop in grades; skipping or late for school
Change of habits at home, loss of interest in family and family activities; difficulty paying attention, forgetfulness; general lack of motivation, energy and self esteem; “I don’t care attitude”,; sudden oversensitivity, temper tantrums or resentful behavior; moodiness, irritability or nervousness; inappropriate silliness or giddiness; paranoia; excessive need for privacy, unreachable, secretive or suspicious behavior; car accidents; chronic dishonesty; unexplained need for money, stealing money or items; change in personal grooming; possession of drug paraphernalia
**For more information or to refer a student to the program please contact 636-697-7690 or go to our webpage at www.ofsd.k12.mo.us and look under our Resources column.