For anyone over the age of 21 beer, liquor, wine, and other spirits are widely available for purchase in the United States. This availability is not meant to provide teens with alcohol. Unfortunately, even the best efforts to control teen drinking do not stop many young people from engaging in teen alcohol abuse. But how can you know if your teen is drinking?
Risk Factors for Teen Alcohol Abuse
No single factor drives teens to drink alcohol. Instead, teen drinking comes from a variety of risk factors. These factors work together to eventually lead young people like your teen into substance abuse and other dangerous activities.
Risk factors for teen alcohol abuse include:
- Genetics or family history of alcohol abuse
- Physical dependence on alcohol from past drinking
- Personal stress
- Socioeconomic status
- Mental disorders like depression or anxiety
- Peer influence
Signs and Symptoms of Teen Drinking
Signs of teen drinking vary widely from person to person. But the most common signs your teen abuses alcohol include behavioral, physical, and mental symptoms.
Behavioral signs of teen drinking include drastic decreases in your teen’s school performance, sudden shifts in their friend group, lost interest in favorite activities, poor personal hygiene, and extreme behavior changes. These signs also include a sudden need for more money, relationship problems, neglecting home responsibilities, and legal problems. The teen also drinks despite knowing it causes many problems.
Physical symptoms of alcohol abuse in teens include the odor of alcohol on their clothing or breath, glazed and bloodshot eyes, flushed skin, slurred speech, changing sleep patterns, and decline in personal appearance. Your teen also shows coordination problems and double vision after drinking too much.
Mental problems of teen drinking include concentration problems, memory issues, lost attention in school, depression, and mood swings. The teen may also experience anxiety. Many young people abuse alcohol to numb their widely swinging emotions or moods.
Drinking Alcohol Proves Dangerous for Teens
Teens who drink cause long-term problems for themselves. These problems include an inability to pay attention, lower grades in school, memory problems, higher likelihood of abusing illicit drugs, and a greater chance of dropping out of school. Drinking at a very young age makes teens more likely to suffer addiction in their lifetime.
Drinking causes risky behaviors, such as unprotected sexual activity, driving drunk, and even suicide attempts. If your teen drinks, the likelihood of suffering sexual assault, serious injuries, or violent death also increases.
So how can you stop your teen when you realize they engage in alcohol abuse? Early intervention is the best way to stop the problem before it gets worse. However, at any time in your teen’s alcohol abuse, they can turn their life around with the right help.
The right help includes:
- Individualized treatment planning
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Individual, group and family therapies
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Holistic and outdoor therapies
- Family and alumni programs
Help your teen rebuild their life now before their problems with alcohol worsen. Alcohol addiction treatment at Destinations for Teens can help your teen regain a hopeful, bright, and productive life. Call Destinations for Teens now at 877-466-0620 for more information about available programs.