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Safety Tips

Preventing crime and maintaining safe communities is everyone's responsibility. By practising the following personal and property safety tips, you can help reduce the incidents of crime and keep your community safe.


Signs of Drug Use

Children often site peer pressure, the need for adventure, rebellion and personal problems as the reasons for turning to drugs or alcohol. Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for all age groups, with marijuana and cocaine the next two drugs of choice for teens.

Youths are at greater risk than adults of chemical dependency for a number of reasons:
  • Teenagers can become addicted to a substance in a much shorter time period then adults. An adult can reach chronic alcoholism in eight to ten years, but a teenager (15 years or younger) drinking the same amount of alcohol can develop to this stage in less than 15 months.
  • Youths have not yet developed emotionally and socially and therefore are more vulnerable to addiction than an emotionally developed adult.
  • Teenagers are more likely to experiment with whatever drug is available, unlike adult drug users who tend to use one or two substances regularly. This variety of chemicals makes it difficult to tell what is being used and how much of it is being used by a teenager.
Here are some signs of drug use:
  1. Changes in personality or behaviour
  2. Impaired work or school performance
  3. Decreased interest in other activities
  4. Rejection of old friends and the introduction of new, unknown associates into their circle
  5. Introverted behaviour – less inclined to participate in a conversation
  6. Financial problems or unexplained cash available
  7. Secretive about where they are going, what they are doing and who they are with.
  8. Change in energy level, appetite and weight
  9. Red or watery eyes.
  10. Cold, sweaty palms; shaking hands.
  11. Puffy face, blushing or paleness.
  12. Slowed or staggering walk; poor physical coordination.
  13. Inability to sleep, awake at unusual times, unusual laziness.
  14. Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet.
  15. Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating.
  16. Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head.
  17. Irregular heartbeat

  • In 2006, close to 18,000 youth were accused of drug-related offences.

  • 40 per cent of teenage drivers who are killed in road crashes have been drinking

    You can view our "How To Spot A Marihuana Grow Operation" video here.

    For information on resources and help centres available in the Durham area, call the confidential Drug and Alcohol Information Line of the Addiction Research Foundation at 1-888-811-8198. The Region of Durham's Health Department also offers drug-related information and can be reached at (905) 723-8521.

    The Durham Regional Police Association (DRPA) publishes the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Handbook for residents of the Durham Region. This book deals with addiction, types of drugs and their effects, and prevention and intervention methods. Please contact the DRPA for more information at (905) 655-5566.

    Please visit the National Anti-Drug Strategy for more information.

    Statistics from:,