National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

East San Gabriel & Pomona Valleys Inc.

Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Symptoms of Adolescents


  • Lacking motivation and lower grades
  • Sleeping in class
  • Skipping class or school
  • Dropping out of school activities
  • Becoming disrespectful of teachers, administrators, and rules
  • Frequently being disciplined
  • Suspended or Expelled


  • Smelling of alcohol, marijuana or stale smoke
  • Memory lapses (headaches, nausea, slight tremors, flu-like symptoms, vomiting, sluggishness)
  • Neglects taking prescribed medications or takes more medications than usual Memory lapses
  • Weight changes or unusual eating patterns (types of foods, amounts, time of day)
  • Frequent use of eye drops for bloodshot eyes
  • Change in normal sleep patterns (more or less than usual, frequent naps)
  • Injuries occurring more often
  • Frequent infections or infections which don't heal
  • More frequent complaints of pain or illness


  • Shoplifting or stealing from family members
  • Unruly behaviors like skipping school and not following family rules
  • Incidents or Charges for Public Intoxication, DUI, Vandalism, Breaking and Entering, Underage Use
  • Involved in car accidents or near misses
  • Selling drugs


  • Impaired judgment (putting self in dangerous situations)
  • Talking about or attempting suicide
  • Violent or threatening (verbally or physically)
  • Lethargic or apathetic
  • Mood swings
  • Burned Out
  • Operating at an inappropriate maturity level


  • Poor management of money
  • Spending large sums of money and asking for money
  • Having drug paraphernalia in bedroom or school locker
  • Reading drug oriented magazines
  • Wearing drug oriented clothing and accessories
  • Using drug slang, talking about drugs