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Drug, alcohol & 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 their 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, take a look at the box on the left. 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.

The facts

Tell-tale signs

Signs to look out for are:

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


Has your child’s appearance, behaviour or financial situation changed dramatically?


Could they be using drugs or drinking alcohol?


Don’t jump to conclusions, find out the facts. If your child needs help get it now.