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4 Schools

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4 Schools 2018-08-01T14:54:37+00:00

Identification – 4 facts in 4 areas

Identifying teenage substance use at school may be difficult but some of the warning signs include:

1. Behaviour

  • Changes in school performance to include loss of concentration, altered or chaotic performance, difficulty sticking to deadlines, lack of engagement.
  • Frequently missing classes or missing school.
  • Conduct disorders or increased conduct disorders in students with ADHD, reduced inhibitions.
  • Risk behaviour including self-harm.

2. Physical Factors

  • Changes in weight and appetite.
  • Strangely wired or tired and without energy.
  • May present with a lot more physical illness, headaches, stomach complaints absences from school due to illness.
  • Blood shot eyes, variation in pupil size, nasal damage.

3. Psychological changes

  • Less able to concentrate and memory changes.
  • Easily irritable and angry.
  • Paranoid thinking.
  • Depression or euphoria.
  • Anxiety/panic attacks.

4. Social Factors

  • Friends may present with concerns.
  • Withdrawal from social group.
  • Forming new friendships.
  • In a group of friends who may carry out risky behaviour or are known to push boundaries.

What can schools do? 4 suggestions for change

  • Education on addiction.
  • A clear and effective system to support a student who presents with an addiction.
  • A named teacher and peer supporter from a core team of trained staff and students to be available should help be needed.
  • Establish links with local services and know what the referral pathways are. Get a professional to help assess risk.


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