Drug & Alcohol

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Drug Related Information

Below are tips and things to watch out for as a parent or guardian.

The symptoms below may be the sign of a number of medical and/or psychological or social problems and may not necessarily mean that your child is abusing drugs or alcohol. If your child is exhibiting some of these behaviors, pay close attention to other signs and get help if you have any concern!

Contact the Quincy Police Department Youth Section at 228-4496 or 228-4470 or 222-9360, Preferred Family Healthcare 224-6300, SAMHSA's National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 1-800-487-4889 (TTY),  your family physician, your clergy or other social service provider, school counselors and prevention specialists available at your local schools may also be a resource.

Remember, you are not alone!

  • Remember, alcohol is a drug. Abuse of alcohol by minors is a serious problem in our community. Allowing youth to consume alcoholic beverages sends a confusing message to the youth that if it is okay to violate the law to drink alcohol as a minor, then why is it so bad to use marijuana? It also can result in physical/emotional dependence and improper or illegal behavior because of the reduced inhibitions brought on by alcohol impairment.

  • Find time to talk to your child and participate in their activities, listening (including looking beyond the words to get at the child's feelings is important to maintaining a good relationship with your child) and also to identify if substance abuse becomes a problem. To assist parents with questions and concerms, please visit www.samhsa.gov.

  • Take a parenting class available through many churches, social groups or community colleges. Examples include Parent Effective Training and programs for ethnic parents.

  • Watch your own behavior in consuming alcohol, legal prescription or illegal drugs. Your child sees and will model the behavior that he or she routinely observes, particularly in the parents.

  • Remember, youth today are more mobile, typically has more money and are outside the physical control of parents more than in previous generations. There are more potential hazards.

  • The abuse of alcohol and drugs often leads to date rape, unwanted pregnancies, serious accidents, arrests, physical and emotional problems to which youth are particularly vulnerable.

  • Be aware of a change in attitude, particularly about areas of interest (personal appearance, hobbies, grades, subjects, reading, etc.).

  • Be aware of a sudden change in friends or secrecy about friends.

  • Be aware of changes in "hangouts" and/or secrecy about "hangouts," particularly if the parent detects or discovers a child lying about where they are.

  • Be aware of the smell of alcohol or a strong pungent herbal smell on breath, in hair and on clothes. If your child drives, be particularly aware of smells in your vehicle.

  • Be aware of eyes, particularly if eyes are red or the pupils are constricted or dilated . . . if eyes are glazed or nonreactive stare.

  • Notice a change in physiology (hyperactivity or lack of activity, depression, rapid heart rate and/or breathing rate, shaking).

  • Be aware of a sense of paranoia, depression, irritability, anxiety, fear of police or other authority figures.

  • Network with other parents concerned about the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Remember, it is illegal in the State of Illinois for minors to buy tobacco or tobacco products.

  • Take an interest in your child's activities (accompany him or her to music practices, sporting events, school activities, etc.).

  • Come to know your child's friends and, if possible, their families and where they live.

  • If your child is going to a party, call the parents to determine if adults will be supervising the party and to determine if alcohol is going to be available at the party. If it is, do not let your child go. Make sure the parent sponsoring the party knows that you do not want alcohol served to your child. If your child is going to a party, call the parents and ask them to give you a call if your child does not arrive within a half hour of the start time of the party or leaves before the end of the party . . . better yet, have the hosting parent call you when your child leaves and let you know with whom, if possible.

  • Remember, it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors of other parents, even in your own home.

  • If you come across information about a youth alcohol or drug party, the Quincy Police Department would like to work with you to prevent the party from occurring. Contact the police department to anonymously report the location, date and approximate times of the party. A youth officer or other police official will contact residents or owners of the property and advise them that we are aware of the party, of the legal consequences and have patrol officers monitor the area.