The Winning Hand. 21 Questions for Parents.
Don’t gamble with your child’s future. Answer these 21 questions for each child in your family age 9 or older.
  • Yes No
    1. Is your child exhibiting sudden, inappropriate mood changes (irritability, unprovoked hostility or giddiness)?
    2. Is your child developing friendships with older kids of legal drinking age?
    *3. Is your child hanging out with an identified drinking or drug crowd?
    4. Is there trouble at school - grades dropping, missing classes, unexplained truancies, especially on Mondays and Friday's? 
    5. Is your liquor supply dwindling? What about your pills in the medicine cabinet? Do they use considerably more over the counter medications (cough sryup, pain killers, allergy meds) then you think is reasonable?
    *6. Has anyone (siblings, neighbors, school officials) tried to tell you your child is using drugs or drinking too much, whether or not you believe them?
    7. Is your child in trouble with the law, for any reason? Have they been suspended from school for an alcohol or drug related incidence, no matter what they said the circumstances were?
    8. Does your child bad-mouth and/or ridicule education, television shows, or literature about alcoholism or drug abuse? 
    *9. Are there signs of medical or emotional problems (stomach problems, sudden weight loss or gain, depression, overwhelming anxiety), suicide talk or gestures?
    10. Is your child beginning to tell lies, cover his/her tracks, say they are going one place and go to another, asking other parents or siblings "not to tell" you things? 
    11. Do you find obvious signs such as a stash of bottles, beer cans or drug paraphernalia in their bedroom, basement or garage?
    12. Do you detect physical signs such as alcohol on the breath, pupil change, redness of eyes, slurred speech or staggering, uncontrollable giggling, motor mouth and unprecedented energy?
    13. Does your child smoke cigarettes and/or eat a lot of breath mints
    14. Does your child have flimsy excuses for not being where s/he said they would be, coming home late or not at all, for getting into trouble at school?
    15. Has your child experimented with alcohol and/or drugs, maybe admitting to "once or twice," but insists that at parties and other functions they stay away from the kids who are doing it and in fact, they try to get their friends to stop?
    16. Does your child have a particularly bad attitude, unprovoked, toward any type of authority figure such as yourself, the police, school officials? Do they ridicule the DARE program or TV coverage of teenage alcohol and drug abuse?
    *17. Is your child concerned about his or her use of alcohol, or other drugs, including marijuana?
    18. Is there a heightened secrecy about actions, possessions, and has your child made their room off limits? Locks on door, drawers, or book bag?
    19. Is he or she wearing sunglasses indoors and often at night?
    20. Is s/he going through money (yours or theirs) and you can't figure out where it's going?
    21. Is your child giving up family and supervised activities like sports, debating teams, or other supervised activities they used to enjoy but it would be very difficult to drink or drug at? They may continue activities that have less supervision an
  • SCORING: If you answered YES to the first box, then there are strong indications that your child may be in trouble with alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs. If you answered yes to the second box (any one of the starred questions 3, 6, 9, or 17) there is a very strong indication that your child needs help now.

    If you find that things look stable for your kids right now, we are glad. However, bookmark our site and stay vigilant. Teenage years are rough and if we can help, please come back and ask.