If you’re worried about your teen using alcohol, it may be tempting to take an extremely strict approach or overemphasize the risks of alcohol use. By Amy Morin, LCSW

Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. If your teen is stumbling, https://ecosoberhouse.com/ slurring their speech, or acting out of character, these are also signs that there has been alcohol or drug use. If your teen comes home from a party and you smell alcohol on their breath or clothing, it is a sure sign they’ve been drinking. There may be other clues that your teen may be abusing alcohol that are not directly related to their physical/social/emotional well being.

Keep in mind that teens with mood disorders are particularly vulnerable to alcohol abuse. Have a conversation with your teen about the long-term dangers of using alcohol to numb their feelings. Teach them how addiction to alcohol can develop as a result of self-medicating and encourage them to openly share their emotional struggles with you or a therapist. Knowing the signs of drug use in teens can help you to intervene before they develop a substance use disorder.

How To Tell If Your Child Is Drinking Alcohol

Underage drinkers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as unsafe sexual activity, driving under the influence, aggressive or violent behavior, or involvement in accidents and injuries. Alcohol impairs judgment and inhibitions, making teenagers more susceptible to dangerous situations and potential harm. Adolescents’ brains and bodies are still developing, and alcohol can interfere with this crucial process.

There are statistics about underage drinking that reflect how much of a problem it has become. Some statistics provide percentages for death, drinking and driving, binge drinking, and other alcohol-related issues. Alcohol can damage structures of the brain like the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory. When teenagers abuse alcohol and damage this part of their developing brain, it causes issues with memory, attention, focus, and even personality disorders.

Alcohol Abuse Prevention

When someone drinks frequently, their body becomes dependent on alcohol. Give now through Nov. 28th to double your teenage alcoholism impact on the future of healthcare. In some people, the initial reaction may feel like an increase in energy.

Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. Recognizing the signs of teenage drinking and preventing problematic drinking is a continuous effort, and a comprehensive approach involving multiple strategies and stakeholders is most effective. In 2021, for adolescents aged 12 to 14 who acknowledged consuming alcohol within the past month, a staggering 99.7% disclosed obtaining it free of charge during their most recent drinking occasion.

Serious Signs

It is hard for most parents to believe that their child might be caught up in underage alcohol use and in need of professional help. Do not feel bad if you did not see the warning signs until your child was in trouble or until someone told you about the problem. When most parents find out about their child’s underage drinking, they feel shocked and stunned and wonder where they went wrong. While one of these five treatment centers may be a great fit for you or your loved one, there are credible treatment centers located all across the US.

  • Still, binge drinking, especially when recurring, is an alarming drinking behavior that may be an indication of alcoholism.
  • If you are searching for an addiction treatment provider specializing in teen rehabilitation, start with your insurance company.
  • This can cause damage to liver tissues and even cause teenagers to have growth problems.
  • Alcohol use disorder is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol or continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems.
  • As children develop and grow, it is a natural part of their journey to assert their independence, explore new experiences, and embrace risk-taking behavior, which unfortunately may include underage drinking.
  • Rather than acknowledge the problems you’ve experienced from alcohol, you become defensive when someone mentions your excessive drinking pattern.

Help prevent teen drug abuse by talking to your teen about the consequences of using drugs and the importance of making healthy choices. Recovered is not a medical, healthcare or therapeutic services provider and no medical, psychiatric, psychological or physical treatment or advice is being provided by Recovered. If you are facing a medical emergency or considering suicide or self harm, please call 911 immediately. With that said, some research suggests that people who drink alone as teenagers are likely to develop AUD as adults.

Alcohol use disorder is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol or continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems. This disorder also involves having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. Alcohol use disorder includes a level of drinking that’s sometimes called alcoholism. If you see these signs combined with catching your teen drinking, seek professional help for them immediately. Your teen may need outpatient counseling or perhaps, even residential treatment. The consequences of underage drinking can affect everyone—regardless of age or drinking status.

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