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This information is extracted from the APFDFY's STAY SAFE site with the permission of Herschel Mills Baker, the President.


Any one of the following behaviour changes can usually be explained, but a regular pattern of several changes should not be ignored or attributed to "just a phase" of growing up. Changes may occur in weeks, months or over a year or more. Long-term physical symptoms are not listed.

Loss of self control and self respect

- cannot be trusted

- irritable

- desire for instant gratification

- becomes less responsive

- new set of friends

- defies authority

- loss of willpower

- uses obscene and abusive language

- hostile behaviour

- loss of moral standards

- lies and will steal

Loss of memory

- becomes more and more forgetful

- has difficulty concentrating

- attention span is shortened

- communication skills decline, become short answer people

- progressive loss of insight, mental confusion

- short-term memory impaired

Run-ins with the law

- driving while under the influence

- speeding, carelessness on highways

- accidents or close calls

- thefts, assaults or other violations of the law

Loss of feelings

- less interest in family, friends, activities

- unexplained changes in mood

- feelings of paranoia

- overreaction to mild criticism

- a loss of the ability to experience pleasure

- loss of self-esteem

- sad eyes, flat speech and facial expression

- loneliness, isolation, depression, thoughts of suicide

Physical changes

- pale complexion (hard to recognize in girls due to make-up use)

- bloodshot eyes, Visine use

- sloppy appearance (clothes, hair)

- changes in eating habits, craves sweets, skips meals, weight loss or weight gain

- more coughs, colds, and chest pains due to a weakening of the immune system

- irregular menstrual cycle

Loss of energy

- apathy

- lack of motivation

- decrease in school performance

- attitude, "just get by"

- abstract thinking suffers

- falls asleep in class

- skips classes, skips school

- doesn't care about future plans