Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse at School

Teen drug abuse is one of the major health concerns in the United States of America. But this particular habit among the school going kids can be controlled by identifying the drug abusing symptoms at the right time and taking necessary preventive measures. Since teens spend most of the time in their schools, it is the mere responsibility of the teachers and the school authorities to look after their well-being. Further, establishing a drug free learning environment will help them to stay healthy and safe.

Following are the few warning signs of teen drug abuse at school, followed by the effective methods to control them.

Irregular attendance: There could be two reasons for being irregular to the school. One, ill health caused due to drug use and the second could be drug dependence. When a person starts using drugs, he feels high and hyper active which makes him use the drugs quite often leading to drug dependence. This makes him stay away from school in order to get and use those drugs. However, frequent absenteeism doesn’t always mean that the person is using drugs.

Unexplained sudden drop in grades: The academic performance of a drug abusing teen will be marked by poor grades. This could be due to the lack of interest and concentration towards their studies as a result of drug abuse – drug abuse directly affects the functioning of the teen’s brain. Also, teens tend to waste their time by socializing more often due to their desperate need for drugs.

Loss of interest in extracurricular activities: Drug abusing teens never show interest in extracurricular activities. They try to stay isolated from the crowd or from their regular peer group and try to spend time all alone or with other drug users. Even if a teen has a lot of interest in sports and games, he tries to avoid them after using drugs.

Disciplinary issues: Certain behavioral changes can be seen in the teen drug abusers. They ignore their personal care and grooming habits. They report arrogant behavior and aggressive reactions at schools even for simple things. They lose patience quiet easily.

Reports of intoxication at school: At times, their excessive drug use results in intoxication at schools or some of their classmates may report about their drug use at schools. This could be the best identity to find their drug abusing habit.

Not returning home after school: Irregular in-time/out-time from/to the house may not necessarily mean that a child is abusing drugs, but the drug abusing kids often tend to spend more time outside or in a secluded place.

Hiding school reports at home: As a result of sudden drop in their grades, these teens try to hide their school reports from their parents and try to deceive them by telling fake stories. If the parents are particular about the report cards and the school attendance, they can easily find out their poor performance and hence can search for the valid reasons.

In order to create a positive, safe and healthy learning environment, the school authorities should take preventive measures to eradicate this dreadful habit among the future citizens. They need to create awareness among the teens by educating them about the negative impacts of drug abuse. Further, conducting random drug tests help in controlling the drug abusing habits in teens.

School authorities need to take the responsibility of providing necessary counseling to the drug abusing students and also encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle.