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Reasonable Suspicion Training Online Should Include Printable Tip Sheets for Parents on Teenage Substance Abuse

Posted by Daniel A. Feerst, BSW, MSW, LISW-CP, Publisher on

Reasonable suspicion training online should always include PDFs that employees can both read and print, so they can retain them for future use. I would like to recommend that this online training in reasonable suspicion also have a couple handouts for parents to they can be better educated about substance abuse. Yes, I am saying to sneak it in even though it is not relevant to the DOT supervisor training compliance rules. This may be the only shot you have at helping these employees who may be parents of teenagers in trouble with drugs. These handouts are best if they aren't too heavy on parenting, but offer concrete signs and symptoms of drug use by the teen. Here are few examples for inserting into a reasonable suspicion training program: 1) Mood swings from passive and withdrawn to angry and hostile; 2) personality changes from energetic and outgoing to non-communicative; 3) blaming others and feeling “persecuted” or “victimized”; 4) unwillingness or inability to discuss important issues or concerns (the “leave me alone” syndrome); 5) rejection of family (meals, gatherings, or celebrations); 6) spending time with suspicious friends who refuse to meet parents, look them in the eye, or talk to them, and changing to clothing or jewelry styles that support drug abuse culture; 7) isolation: spending unusually long periods of time alone in bedroom; 8) apathy: dropping once meaningful activities like clubs, hobbies, and sports. The EAP can provide you with more information and guidance on intervening with a child or teen you suspect is using drugs. Common mistake: Adults dismissing drug use as a “normal” or a symptom of a depressed teenager rather than a possible primary healthcare problem.

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