Drug, alcohol and substance misuse

Look out for the signs

There are many reasons why young people may start to drink or use drugs. They want to show they are growing up and see it as a sign of maturity. They may also feel under pressure from friends to experiment. It is also seen as a means of escape and having fun.

There are many tell-tale signs that your child may be using drugs or alcohol, refer to the tell-tale signs section. There may be a change in relationships with family and friends, how they act or a change in performance at school.

Other signs can involve changes in a financial situation and personal possessions ‘disappearing’ and being sold.

It is important to discuss drugs and alcohol early with your child. Some parents worry that doing this may encourage their child to use drugs but avoiding talking about drugs will not protect them. If you or someone at home uses drugs or alcohol you are seriously affecting the care and well-being of your children.

  • Children of users are more likely to become addicts.
  • Most children will be aware of drugs and alcohol before they leave primary school.
  • Children will be more responsive to being told about the risks.
  • Provide good information about the dangers. It does not guarantee non-use but will increase the chance of an informed choice.

Signs to look out for are:

  • Appearing panicky or tense.
  • Being drowsy and lacking concentration.
  • Complaining of sickness.
  • Strange eating patterns.
  • Has no energy.
  • Seem depressed.
  • Has skin problems or spots.
  • Is aggressive.
  • Unable to sleep.
  • Seem secretive.

Not all of the signs mentioned mean your child is taking drugs. Look out for changes in their behaviour and relationships.

Useful Contacts

Change, Grow Live

0161 672 9420 or email tameside.referrals@cgl.org.uk