Question: Has your teenager’s grades dropped?

Question: Have you noticed your teenager being overly tired or extremely hyperactive?

Question: Has your teen had an excess of money or has he needed money without explaining why?

have a drastic weight loss or gain?

Question: Has your teenager lost interest in school, sports, activities that used to stimulate him/her?

Question: Has your teenager changed his/her set of friends?

Question: Does your teenager over react to everything he perceives as criticism?

Question: Has your teen been unhappy or depressed?

Question: Does your teenager have unexplainable mood swings or behavior – beyond that of normal adolescence?

Question: Has your teenager been caught stealing, fighting or cheating at school?

Question: Has your teenager lost respect for the family rules?

Question: Has your teen lost interest in doing thing with the family?

Question: Has your teen missed curfew more than once?

Question: Has your teenager been verbally or physically abusive?

Question: Have you smelled alcohol or marijuana on your teenager’s breath or body?

Question: Has your teenager skipped school?

Question: Have you found drug paraphernalia on your teenager’s possession or in his/her room?

Question: Has your teenager been sleeping in class?

Question: Is your teen spending all of his time at home in his room?

Question: Has your teenager been hiding notes from his teachers or from the school?

Question: Is your teenager not taking care of his/her hygiene and is his/her appearance sloppy?

Question: Is your teenager not doing his/her homework?

Question: Have you caught your teenager smoking cigarettes?

Question: Has your teenager had a sudden increase of decrease in appetite?

Question: Do you feel your teenager ‘doesn’t seem as happy as he/she used to be’?

Question: Has your teenager been more forgetful than usual?

Question: Does your teen have a very short attention span or is it hard to get his/her attention?

Question: Do you feel your teen has ‘withdrawn from his former life’?



Guide Picks

From Denise Witmer,

Your Guide to Parenting of Adolescents.

FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

When it comes to teen drug use, an ounce of prevention is worth so much more than a pound of cure. Follow these tips on preventing teen drug use and you will enjoy a drug-free family.

1) Be there for your teen when he needs to get out of a bad situation.

Be the scapegoat: ‘I can’t do that, my parents would kill me!’ Or be the parent who will pick up your teen without repercussions if he finds the party he’s gone too has drugs available or her date has been drinking.

2) Get to know your teen’s friends and their parents on a first name basis.

This will help you know what your teen is doing and you may make a good friend to boot!

3) Keep connected in the after school hours.

If you can’t be home with your teen, call and leave notes. Have another adult supervise your teen or sign him up for an after school program. If these things aren’t possible, establish a routine for your teenager and keep him busy during this time.

4) Talk to your teen often about drugs.

Use ice breakers from television shows or the radio in the car. Remember these are conversations, not lectures.

5) Get your teen involved in extra-curricular activities.

Schools offer sports or clubs and community organizations offer classes and youth groups. These will help him mold his identity in a positive way and give him less time doing nothing and becoming bored. Studies have shown teens that have less time to just hang out are less likely to do drugs.

6) Ask questions when your teen makes plans to go out.

Who will he be with, where is he going, what will he be doing, etc. Then check up on him. Call other parents and do this together.

7) Be a role model.

If you drink, drink responsibly - and don’t ever use illegal drugs.

8) Unite your family against drugs using strong family beliefs.

Establish that your family doesn’t use drugs. Not that you will shun your child should he make a mistake, but that your family believes there are other healthier ways to enjoy life and fix problems rather than escaping into a drug haze.

9) Connect with your teen by doing things together as a family.

Make this a routine outing and have your teen help plan it. Eat family meals together. Studies have shown that kids who enjoy dinner together with their parents on a normal basis are less likely to become involved with drugs.

10) Drop any baggage you may be carrying.

Don’t allow the mistakes you made as a teenager or young adult to influence your teen in a negative way. Tap into the mature adult you’ve become and let the past go.