Resources for Parents: Drug and Alcohol Awareness

We want to help in any way that we can when it comes to the health and well-being of our students. If you have concerns about someone using drugs or alcohol, please report it to someone that can help.  Your report will remain anonymous and may save a life. If you are aware of any activity that causes you concern related to the drugs or alcohol, please report it to an administrator or a counselor.
Warning Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Signs of Drug and Alcohol Abuse: National Council on Alcoholism and Drugs

Warning Signs
The use and abuse of drugs are serious issues that should not be ignored or minimized and we should not sit back and hope they just go away. If left untreated, use and abuse can develop into drug dependence. As a result, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse early. If you’re worried that a friend or family member might be abusing drugs, here are some of the warning signs to look for:
Physical and health warning signs of drug abuse
  • Eyes that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal.
  • Frequent nosebleeds--could be related to snorted drugs (meth or cocaine).
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Seizures without a history of epilepsy.
  • Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance.
  • Injuries/accidents and person won’t or can’t tell you how they got hurt.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  • Shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination.

  • Behavioral signs of drug abuse
  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school; loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise; decreased motivation.
  • Complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
  • Unusual or unexplained need for money or financial problems; borrowing or stealing; missing money or valuables.
  • Silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
  • Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).
Psychological warning signs of drug abuse
  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
  • Sudden mood changes, irritability, angry outbursts or laughing at nothing.
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation.
  • Lack of motivation; inability to focus, appearing lethargic or “spaced out.”
  • Appearing fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid, with no apparent reason.
Signs and symptoms of Drug Dependence:
Drug dependence involves all the symptoms of drug abuse, but also involves another element: physical dependence.
  • Tolerance: Tolerance means that, over time, you need more drugs to feel the same effects. Do they use more drugs now than they used before? Do they use more drugs than other people without showing obvious signs of intoxication? 
  • Withdrawal: As the effect of the drugs wear off, the person may experience withdrawal symptoms: anxiety or jumpiness; shakiness or trembling; sweating, nausea and vomiting; insomnia; depression; irritability; fatigue or loss of appetite and headaches. Do they use drugs to steady the nerves, stop the shakes in the morning? Drug use to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms is a sign of addiction.
  • In severe cases, withdrawal from drugs can be life-threatening and involve hallucinations, confusion, seizures, fever, and agitation. These symptoms can be dangerous and should be managed by a physician specifically trained and experienced in dealing with addiction. 
  • Loss of Control: Using more drugs than they wanted to, for longer than they intended, or despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t do it this time.
  • Desire to Stop, But Can’t: They have a persistent desire to cut down or stop their drug use, but all efforts to stop and stay stopped, have been unsuccessful.
  • Neglecting Other Activities: They are spending less time on activities that used to be important to them (hanging out with family and friends, exercising or going to the gym, pursuing hobbies or other interests) because of the use of drugs.
  • Drugs Take Up Greater Time, Energy and Focus: They spend a lot of time using drugs, thinking about it, or recovering from its effects. They have few, if any, interests, social or community involvements that don’t revolve around the use of drugs.
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: They continue to use drugs even though they know it’s causing problems. As an example, person may realize that their drug use is interfering with ability to do their job, is damaging their marriage, making problems worse, or causing health problems, but they continue to use.
Resources for Parents and Students
Pennridge School District Resources 
Student Assistance Program (SAP)

Confidential online referrals.  

Click here for more details about the High School SAP Program.

Email  your child's guidance counselor any concerns.

Additional Community Resources

Penn Foundation


Mental Health Crisis/Emergency Services 

215- 257-6551 (Penn Foundation at GVH)

Pennridge Regional Police


Rehab After School

an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program helping teens


Aldie Counseling Center

specializing in drug & alcohol treatment


Bucks County Children’s Crisis Support

24hour/7 days a week

Helping adolescents & families manage crisis successfully through individualized crisis response and planning. 

1-877-HELP-709 (1-877-435-7709)

Council of Southeastern PA

Information, intervention and recovery support line


Pyramid Adolescent Drug & Alcohol treatment Center

Comprehensive web based search engine for mental health &, drug & alcohol resources in Bucks and surrounding counties


Bucks County Anonymous Drug Tips

Text the word BUCKSDRUGTIPS and your tip TIP411 (847411)

215-345-DRUG (3784)