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Substance Abuse Educational Tool

How can I tell if my child has become involved in drugs and alcohol?

The forms provided below are checklists on teenage behavior. BEFORE you start, please read this paragraph first. These forms are four separate lists of behaviors that you may have noticed in your teen. Many of the listed behaviors often seem to be "normal" teenage behaviors. That is why it can be extremely difficult for parents to tell whether their child is just going a "typical" teenage phase, may have a psychological problem, or may have become involved with drugs and/or alcohol.

First, go down each of the four lists by clicking on each check list below, checking the behaviors that apply. Then, after you have completed each list, refer to the Symptom Interpretations and Recommendations listed below these downloadable check lists in order to find the most appropriate action to take for your particular situation.

Symptom Interpretations and Recommendations

List One

List One represents the subtle symptoms that may suggest a child is experiencing a psychological or drug/alcohol related problem. If you checked all symptoms, or a combination of some of these symptoms, plus some symptoms from lists 2, 3, 4, then you should seek professional help without delay.

List Two

List Two represents some of the more obvious symptoms of a child abusing drugs or alcohol. It also represents many behaviors of a child experiencing difficulty managing his or her environment and responsibilities. If you have checked several of the indicators from both Lists 1 and 2, you should schedule your child for a professional evaluation of a possible psychological and/or drug/alcohol problem.

List Three

List Three represents definite symptoms of a child who has been using drugs or alcohol for some time, or who is developing sever psychological problems. If you have checked a few of these symptoms and several from Lists 1 and 2, your child is in urgent need of a professional evaluation.

List Four

List Four represents the symptoms of parents who love their child and want to believe everything is okay. Yet, they may be experiencing what is commonly known as "Denial". Parents caught in this subtle trap are doing "all the wrong things for all the right reason", including compromising their own values and lifestyles while directing all their attention, thoughts and efforts toward their child. If you have checked a number of these symptoms, you may be caught in this trap, and could be creating an environment that rewards/reinforces inappropriate teen behaviors, rather than stopping them.

How do I enroll?

Please contact NorthEast Psychiatric Services at (704) 403-1800 to make an appointment. You can talk with one of our professional staff members. Your initial consultation is ABSOLUTELY FREE and will be held in STRICT CONFIDENCE. NorthEast Psychiatric Services specializes in the evaluation and treatment of behavioral and chemical dependency problems of young persons ages 12-25.

NOTE: This Check List is not intended to be a psychological, psychiatric or drug evaluation of your child. Rather, it is only a tool for parents. If you have any concerns about your child, please seek appropriate professional help.

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