High school is a tough time for most if not all teenagers. Besides going through puberty and realizing who they really are, there is social media, bullying, and peer pressure. All of these things combined can have an influence on your teenager and can eventually lead to alcohol or drug abuse. Around 80 percent of young adults have admitted to consuming alcohol on more than one occasion. This is a startling number and should be a reason for concern. All parents should be aware of the signs of teen alcoholism to help protect their child.
Are you suspicious because you’ve noticed your teen’s unusually strange behavior? If so, you need to talk to them proactively to get a better understanding of what they are going through. It is not unusual for your child to get defensive or even avoid the attempt to communicate. Therefore, as a parent, it is important to be able to recognize these early warning signs before it is too late.
When You Should Become Concerned
Expect to be completely shocked when you learn how many teenagers are engaging in either a social drink or full-on binge drinking. Several studies have shown that alcohol abuse can start as early as age 11 for boys and 13 for girls. As a parent, it is crucial to understand that your teenager will be offered alcohol and may give in to temptation or peer pressure. If you notice that they’ve stopped or are skipping their extracurricular activities and seem withdrawn, be concerned. If your teenager is suddenly asking for more money than normal, or you notice money missing, be concerned.
Defensive or Aggressive Behavior
It is common for teenagers to have mood swings while going through puberty. They are not regularly known for being the most truthful people in the world either. But there’s a difference between a basic white lie and a few tiny rebellious acts as opposed to constant lies and aggression possibly caused by alcohol abuse. Your teen will probably downright deny that they’re consuming alcohol even when confronted with indisputable evidence. This is one of the first signs of teen alcoholism, so you should act immediately.
Most teenagers are reluctant to talk about what they are doing or who they are hanging out with. In most cases, it is because they feel that they are old enough to be independent. If the secretiveness becomes extreme along with the symptoms above, it could be signs of teen alcoholism. Are they ignoring your calls and texts? Or spending much more time by themselves or away from you? Are they talking about new friends or people that you have never met? If you can answer any of these questions with a yes, then it is time for you to contact someone to get help.
What to Do if You See Signs of Teen Alcoholism in Your Child
Be sure to recognize both the attributes of addiction and the major physical, mental, and personal effects it can have on your teenager before you take the next step. Part of this is accepting that addiction is a mental condition. It is neither your fault or your child’s fault. The healing process consists of having the entire family’s support and can help both you and your child receive the proper care. This process will probably not come naturally to you and it will take a lot of time to achieve an appropriate response to your child’s problem.