Some of the signs of excessive alcohol consumption:

  • Being more secretive than usual
  • Wild mood swings
  • Missing school, bunking classes, rebelling against family and school rules
  • Getting new friends and refusing to introduce you to them. They could even suddenly stop being friends with you altogether
  • Having an “I don’t care attitude”: poor personal hygiene, not being interested in activities they were interested in before
  • Finding alcohol in their school bag or locker
  • Smelling alcohol on their breath
  • Blackouts, poor concentration, bloodshot eyes, lack of coordination or slurred speech
  • Also watch out for sudden heavy usage of mouthwash or chewing gum (for the smell) or eye drops (for bloodshot eyes)

Call someone

Don’t ignore the signs of a problem. Don’t hope it was just ‘a couple of rough weekends’. It could happen again and it could get worse. Do something about it. Talk to someone responsible, or involve a teacher, or a parent or caregiver.

If it’s yourself that you are concerned about, ask for help from someone older that you trust. Here are some contacts that are equipped to really help you. It’s a choice.
You Decide.

– You Decide helpline (8.00am to 8.00pm daily)
0800 33 33 77

– SADAG (SA Depression & Anxiety Group)
(011) 262 6396

– Life Line
(0861) 322 322

– UCT Child Guidance Clinic
(021) 650 3900

– Alcoholics Anonymous
0861 435 722

– Al-Anon
(031) 304 1826 or (021) 595 4517