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Alcohol & Drug Info

Alcohol & Drug Info Chemical Health Sites

Signs and Symptoms of Chemical Use and Abuse

  • Dramatic changes in grades and school performance. Not simply for a quarter or semester, but for 2-3 terms.
  • Drastic mood swings at both home and school. Happy, cheerful, talkative, high energy to sullen, swearing at teachers, angry toward peers, verbally abusive with peers and adults.
  • Blaming others continually for their behavior.
  • Skipping classes, especially those following lunch or the end of the day.
  • Falling asleep in class.
  • Chronic tardiness for school.
  • Drastic change in friends.
  • Dropping sports or other interests that they had excelled at in the past.
  • Friends verbalizing concerns about behaviors.
  • Chronic cough but no history of asthma or other medical condition.
  • Illegal activities such as theft, shoplifting, procession.
  • Parent or guardian voicing concerns about money or other items missing around the home.
  • Parents finding drugs, drug paraphernalia and/or alcohol at home.
  • Difficulties with employers such as tardiness or calling in sick.
  • Not being able to keep a job or switching jobs frequently.
It is difficult to distinguish typical adolescent behavior from drug induced behaviors. During this stage in their life, change in attitude and behavior often occurs. It is a time of testing limits, challenging authority, and discovering who they are. Changes in a young person’s behavior need to be carefully assessed. When drastic changes are apparent, it can be a sign of a problem.


  • Adam or Ecstasy: Street names for the drug MDMA, commonly found at rave parties, nightclubs, and other settings frequented by youth and young adults.
  • Meth or Ice: Street names for methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system.
  • GHB or Liquid E: Powerful, rapidly acting central nervous system depressant, often ingested with alcohol by young adults and teens at nightclubs and parties. It is used as a pleasure enhancer.
  • Nickel Bag: Five-dollar quantity of marijuana
  • Special K: Street name for Ketamine used by veterinary clinics for general anesthetic for animals. This substance is used illegally to produce hallucinations in humans.
  • Roofies: Street names for Rohypnol, most commonly implicated in drug-facilitated rape. Taken with alcohol, it can lead to anterograde amnesia, where events that occurred during the time the drug was in effect are forgotten.
  • Pinch Hitter or Oney: Small, slim, metal pipe, resembling a baseball bat, used to smoke marijuana.
  • Cooler : Cigarette laced with a drug
  • Shrooms: Slang term for psilocybin or psychedelic mushrooms
  • Bud : Slang term for marijuana
  • Acid, Hits: Street names for LSD, the most common hallucinogen and one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. It is commonly taken orally and licked off blotter paper.
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