Warning Signs That Your Kid May be Drinking

Although statistics indicate that alcohol consumption is down among teens, underage drinking is still a major problem that can be deadly. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for US teens age 16-19. 1 in 5 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2010 had some alcohol in their system – more than 81% had BAC levels higher than the legal limit for adults.

Teens Who Reported Drinking and Driving
Source: TEENS 16 YEARS AND OLDER WHO REPORTED DRINKING AN DRIVING –  Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, 41 states, 2011 Data not available for CA, HI, ME, MN, MO, NV, OR, PA, and WA.

In addition to that, alcohol use can affect a teen’s ability to function in school, at work, or in social settings, creating terrible consequences that extend past health. As a parent, it is incredibly important to identify the signs of teen alcohol use, so you can take steps to help your kid stop drinking for good.

Warning Signs of Teen Alcohol Use

  • You find alcohol in your kid’s room or among your kid’s possessions.
  • You smell alcohol on your kid’s breath or notice physical symptoms of intoxication, like slurred speech or bloodshot eyes.
  • Your kid experiences mood changes that are not within his or her normal behavior.
  • There are problems in school, like poor attendance or low grades.
  • Your kid stops hanging out with his or her friends and develops a “nothing matters” attitude.

If you notice these warning signs and are concerned about your kid’s alcohol use, enlisting him or her into a reputable residential treatment program, maybe your best option. Residential treatment for substance abuse, including excessive drinking, is one of the most effective ways to treat the problem and prevent a relapse.

When alcohol use disorder is present, the brain changes the way it processes information, and its number one priority is to get more alcohol. Teens are at greater risk of permanent brain changes because their brains are still developing. This is why outpatient programs are not as effective because old habits often return if the patient is not in a controlled setting where he or she can receive the treatment they need.

Additionally, stopping alcohol use is not only incredibly difficult because of the psychological aspects of the addiction; the physical withdrawal symptoms are often painful and can even be deadly if the disease has progressed far enough. It is important to seek the help of professionals if your son or daughter is drinking excessively and can no longer stop.

We encourage you to learn more about youth residential substance abuse treatment here to determine whether it is right for your teen in need.

7 Signs for underage Drinking

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