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Botswana Alcohol Aids Project

Warning Signs of Childhood Drinking or Using
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ATTENTION PARENTS


BECAUSE OF YOUR POSITION AS A PARENT, YOU ARE UNIQUELY POSITIONED TO PREVENT, DETECT AND REFER FOR TREATMENT ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUG USE IN YOUR CHILDREN OR OTHER CHILDREN YOU MAY COME IN REGULAR CONTACT WITH.

WARNING SIGNS OF CHILDHOOD DRINKING
While the following behaviors may indicate an alcohol or other drug problem, some also reflect normal teen-age growing pains. Experts believe that a drinking problem is more likely if you notice several of these signs at the same time, if they occur suddenly, and if some of them are extreme in nature.

Mood changes, flare-ups of temper, irritability, and defensiveness.

School problems; poor attendance, low grades, and/or recent disciplinary action.

Rebelling against family rules.

Spending inordinate amounts of time in their room with the door locked.

Insisting that their room is Private Property and should not be entered without their permission.

Switching friends, along with a reluctance to have parents get to know the new friends.

A nothing matters attitude, sloppy appearance, a lack of involvement in former interests, and general low energy.

Finding alcohol/other drugs in the child'S room or rucksack, or smelling alcohol or other pungent odors on his or her breath, clothes or possessions.

Physical or mental problems; memory lapses, poor concentration, bloodshot eyes, lack of coordination, slurred speech or aggressive/violent behavior toward parent.

It will be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

Can I be objective in assessing/addressing these matters with my children?

Am I an example to my children as a person who does the right things or am I one of those who says "Do what I say and not what I do?"

Do I promote the use of public spaces in health care/school settings to distribute educational literature of all types including information on HIV/AIDS, Alcohol and other drug abuse, emotional maturity, etc?

Have I sufficient knowledge and expertise about the dangers of alcohol and use it to support community education and prevention regarding underage alcohol/other drug abuse?


Copyright 2004, Botswana Alcohol Aids Project - Jim MacDonald Webmaster. Contact Jim at djm@paonline.com