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[302] 999.1106 Wilmington
[302] 856.9746 Georgetown
[302] 384.6926 ARGO

Early Indicators

Signs and symptoms of teens in trouble

It is important to keep in mind 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 stressors or may be symptoms of other psychiatric disorders. Other may be symptoms of depression or a host of other problems. Whatever the cause, these symptoms warrant attention, especially if they persist or if they occur in a cluster. Aquila's outpatient therapists are specifically trained to help adolescents successfully overcome symptomatic behaviors and develop more effective coping skills, often preventing 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.

Physical Signs

  • Loss of appetite, increase in appetite, any changes in eating habits, unexplained weight loos or gain.
  • Slowed or staggering walk; poor physical coordination.
  • Inability to sleep, awake at unusual times, 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 substances on breath, body or clothes.
  • Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talkativeness.
  • Runny nose; hacking cough.
  • Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet.
  • Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating.
  • Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head.
  • Irregular heartbeat.

Behavioral Signs

  • 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; friends are known drug users.
  • Change in activities or hobbies.
  • Drop in grades at school or performance at work; skips school or is late for school.
  • Change in habits at home; loss of interest in family and family activities.
  • Difficulty in paying attention; forgetfulness.
  • General lack of motivation, energy, self-esteem, "I don't care" attitude.
  • Sudden oversensitivity, temper tantrums, or resentful behavior.
  • Moodiness, irritability, or nervousness.
  • 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 habits.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Aquila Wilmington

Map of Wilmington
1812 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE 19808

Aquila Georgetown

Map of Georgetown
6 N. Railroad Ave.
Georgetown, DE 19947

Argo Institute

Map of ARGO
1812 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington DE 19808

Drug Specific Symptoms

Marijuana

Glassy, watery eyes; loud talking and inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; a sweet burnt scent; loss interest, lack of motivation, and unexplained weight gain or loss.

Alcohol

Clumsiness; difficulty walking; slurred speech; sleepiness; poor judgment; dilated pupils; possession of a false ID card.

Depressants

Seems drunk as if from alcohol but without the associated odor of alcohol; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness; and contracted pupils.

Stimulants

Hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; dilated pupils, weight loss; dry mouth and nose.

Inhalants

Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; and unusual number of sprays cans in the trash.

Hallucinogens

Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.

Heroin

Needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing and sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite; contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light.

Prescription Pain Medications

Runny nose, constricted pupils, mood swings, loss of appetite, long periods of sleeping, poor frustration tolerance, lack of self care.

Tobacco / Nicotine

Smell of tobacco; stained fingers or teeth.