Warning Signs: School
There are many obvious signs that a teen is using drugs. For example, you may smell marijuana or alcohol on their breath or clothes. They may seem withdrawn from their usual activities, or may come home late and have numerous excuses for where they have been. These signs should be taken seriously, but there are other signs that need that are far less obvious, unless you know what to look for. School is a good place to start if you have an inkling that a problem is emerging with you teen.
School is a large part of an adolescent’s life and can be a significant indicator that there is a drug problem. When looking for warning signs, things related to school can be a revealing. The first place to look is the backpack, even though you may assume that this would be the last place a teen would hide drugs, paraphernalia, or other clues to drug use. A close search into the hidden recesses of a backpack may reveal random phone numbers (dealers), creative drawings of their drug of choice, or remnants such as seeds or baggies form prior use.
Check with the attendance office and check in with teacher if you are suspicious. Many students that are using are truant or may be inattentive in class. In fact, if they do go to class, the may be defiant, irritable, or may just sleep the day away if given the opportunity. Of course, grades and work performance will decline with prolonged and even short term teen drug use. Make sure that you talk to your teen about their homework. Demand to see their homework, graded assignments, and make sure that you receive a copy of their report card on a regular basis.