Understanding warning signs is an important part of helping students as school counselors. There are several signs that can alert the counselor about substance use by a student. If a counselor detects a change in a person's peer groups, they could be abusing substances. A sudden or even gradual lack of attention to grooming habits is also a warning sign that something might be happening.
Academically, a counselor can screen for problems related to drug or alcohol use if there is a drop in grades, overall performance, and participation in studies. Noting unusual or excessive absences without proper explanations may indicate that the student is engaging in some form of substance abuse. This is the main reason why simple drug detoxification does not work on its own and why drug rehabilitation treatment should immediately follow detoxification.