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7 Signs and Symptoms Your Teen Is Abusing Alcohol

Adolescence can be a challenging and unpredictable time. Peer pressure, media, and internet culture can influence a teen’s behavior in undesirable ways. Underage drinking and resulting alcohol dependency is a major concern. Parents should talk to their teens about the dangers of drinking and watch for these seven signs and symptoms of teen alcohol abuse. Fortunately, Destinations For Teens understands the unique pressures on adolescents and teens. Thus, our wide range of treatment programs and therapies can best help young people identify and overcome their alcohol abuse.

Symptoms of Teen Alcohol Abuse: Negligence and Getting Into Trouble

When alcohol abuse takes over, it can lead adolescents to abandon their responsibilities. They may skip classes, stop attending practice, and neglect to turn in assignments. (1) Once high-achieving students may start to perform poorly, and parents may receive phone calls from the school. Teens who abuse alcohol are more likely to get involved in violent or unlawful behavior. They may get multiple detentions or suspensions and even run into trouble with the police. You may notice cuts or bruises on their face and hands. Normally polite kids may start to use vulgar language or disrespect family members.

Avoiding Contact

Some other symptoms of teen alcohol abuse can include avoiding contact with peers or adults and withdrawal symptoms. It’s wise to learn what the common withdrawal symptoms are for alcohol use disorder. Also, being aware of what kinds of contact with others the adolescent in your life is having. For instance, teens may come home late or stay out at night to spend time drinking. They may avoid conversation and lock themselves in their room to partake. When confronted, they may exhibit slurred speech, disoriented movement, and confused facial expressions. If your teen used to hang out with friends and participated in social activities, but now spends most of his time alone, it may be a sign of alcohol abuse. They may distance himself from parents and siblings, avoid eating meals with the family, and act out when questioned. If a teen finds themself without alcohol for a long period of time, they may appear ill or perturbed. This is the beginning of withdrawal, which occurs when the body is deprived of a substance it has become dependent on. For example, some common symptoms include (2):

  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Anger
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety

The symptoms usually intensify the longer an adolescent goes without alcohol. In addition, the craving for alcohol may override the body’s natural nutritional profile, leading to eating disorders, extreme weight loss, and sleep disorders.

Symptoms of Teen Alcohol Abuse: Empty Cans or Bottles and Hanging out with the Wrong Crowd

Disappearing cans or bottles of beer are a red flag that something is wrong. Parents should keep track of how much they consume and watch for inconsistencies in supply. Check trash cans and recycling bins for empty cans and bottles. Teens may also hide alcoholic beverages in their room. While parents shouldn’t search an adolescent’s room or private space, they should be aware of what is going on in and around the home. While some teens with alcohol dependency prefer to drink alone to shut out the world around them, others may prefer to partake with others. They may abandon long-time friends to spend time drinking with new ones. Teens who drink are also more likely to smoke. You may notice cigarette odors on your teen’s clothes or find new or used cigarettes in the house.

Getting Treatment at Destinations For Teens

Destinations for Teens gives adolescents the tools and knowledge they need to make productive life choices and build strong relationships with family and peers. We offer a wide variety of treatment programs to help adolescents and teens who are struggling with alcohol use disorder such as:

With an unparalleled focus on individualized treatment options and luxury accommodations, patients receive the highest level of care. So call or visit Destinations For Teens today and help your teen get back on track and away from substance abuse. To learn more, give us a call at 877.466.0620.