Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

General behavioral changes:

  • Abnormal drowsiness
  • Unusual agitation, restlessness, or disturbed sleep
  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • An abrupt change in personality or manner
  • Secretive or evasive behavior
  • A sudden drop in academic or athletic performance
  • Unusual irritability, aggression

Physical signs

  • Rapid pulse, rapid breathing, and sweating for no obvious reason
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Flushed skin
  • Slurred speech, lack of coordination, disorientation

Teachers and other school staff may refer students to you who show unusual behaviors, physical symptoms, and sudden drops in school performance.

It’s critical to be able to recognize situations where prescription drugs – or even illicit “street” drugs – may be involved. The goal is to be alert to situations that may require medical or other interventions to protect the student.

This video discusses the signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse in students.