Monitoring your child’s alcohol or drug use is very important, whether you suspect they are using or you have caught them many times. It is also important to keep a log of some kind to track dates when you were concerned and what you found, not only for your reference, but also for outside help.

Good places to monitor alcohol or drug storage:

  • Dresser drawers, beneath or between clothes
  • Under or between mattresses
  • Desk drawers
  • CD/DVD/Tape/Video cases
  • Small boxes – jewelry, pencil, etc.
  • Backpacks/duffle bags
  • Under a bed
  • In a plant, buried in the dirt
  • Between books on a bookshelf
  • In books with pages cut out
  • Makeup cases – inside fake lipstick tubes or compacts
  • Under a loose plank in floor boards
  • In fake soda bottles with false bottoms
  • Inside over–the–counter medicine containers (Tylenol, Advil, etc)
  • Inside empty candy bags such as M&Ms or Skittles

Important things to keep track

  • When did your teen start using?
  • How did it start? / How did they get it?
  • Did it progress to harder drugs?
  • Who are your child’s friends? And their parents?
  • Who has your teen been chatting with online?
  • Who is in their cell phone address book? If you cannot look on his/her phone, look at the monthly bill and note numbers that are not familiar to you.
  • When your teen comes home late and who they are hanging out with
  • The amount of prescription pills you have
  • The amount of time your teen spends alone in her room and online
  • Anything suspicious found in his room or belongings
  • Drug–related terms or slang in text messages or IMs (ex: “Mary Jane” for marijuana, “Vitamin R” for Ritalin , or “OCs” for Oxycontin)


Source: The Partnership for a Drug Free America. (2012). Time to Act! Retrieved from