How to Help an Alcoholic Teen

      Comments Off on How to Help an Alcoholic Teen

teenage alchol

Teen alcohol abuse can be treated the same as any substance use disorder. Treatment centers offer medical detox as well as drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Many facilities are specialized and exclusively treat teen drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Binge drinking is defined as drinking so much within a short space of time (about two hours) that blood alcohol levels reach the legal limit of intoxication. For kids and teens, that usually means having three or more drinks at one sitting.

teenage alchol

The second stage of alcohol and other drug use ranges from experimentation or occasional use to regular weekly use of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, or other drugs. The third stage involves a youth further increasing the frequency of alcohol use and/or using alcohol and other drugs on a regular basis. This stage may also include the teenager buying alcohol or other drugs eco sober house cost or stealing to get their drug of choice. The final and most serious fifth stage of alcohol or other drug use involves the youth only feeling normal when they are using. During this stage, risk-taking behaviors like stealing, engaging in physical fights or driving under the influence of alcohol increase, and they become most vulnerable to having suicidal thoughts.

Kaiser Permanente Insurance for Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance globally, this includes individuals under the age of 21. Over half of Americans between 12 and 20 years old have experimented with alcohol, and 1 in 5 teenagers become heavy drinkers. In 2010, there were 189,000 visits to emergency rooms as a result of underaged alcohol-related injuries.

  • The first stage involves access to alcohol rather than the use of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, or other drugs.
  • The example that parents and others in their lives set for them will shape their own attitudes about alcohol.
  • Teens who drink are more likely to be sexually active and to have unsafe, unprotected sex, which can lead to unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

They try to do this in manners that challenge authority, particularly the close authority figures they have followed most of their lives, such as teachers and parents. Use of alcohol is one way to challenge this authority, but children and adolescents do not fully understand the risks on their health and behavior. However, medical professionals have not approved any of these medications to treat alcoholism in people less than 18 years of age. There are studies to indicate that medications that treat seizures, like gabapentin (Neurontin) and topiramate (Topamax), can help reduce drinking in individuals with alcoholism. However, there is little data about the use of these medications for the treatment of alcoholism in people under 18 years of age.


Another good method is to remove alcohol from the home, which also sets a good example for the teenager to follow. The last method is to check a teenager into inpatient rehab or medically-assisted detox. These decisions should only be made after consulting with a medical professional or addiction counselor. Teenagers have brains that are still developing, so warning signs vary greatly depending on the teenager.

You don’t have to pretend you’re not disappointed, but staying away from shame and blame will signal that your child can trust you when things go wrong and they need you the most. Keep the dialogue going as your child moves through elementary, middle school, and high school. Racism and discrimination are sources of stress; they can contribute to the risk that young people of color will have problems with alcohol. Here are

more resources for families of color who are concerned about alcohol use. This talk may be a challenging but necessary first step in getting your teen the help they need. However, it’s still a good idea to reach out to them — regardless of the cause of their behavior, they may need guidance and support.

Teen Drug Abuse Facts and Statistics

Don’t be afraid to set firm, age-appropriate rules and limits to protect them. Don’t talk to your child about the incident immediately, since this might make them less likely to trust you next time around. However, don’t put the conversation off for more than a couple of days. Your child needs to know you take this issue seriously and will set firm limits to protect them.

They should be supervised, and have no more than 1 drink a week. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends that children between 12 and 17 years old avoid alcohol. As a reminder, drinking alcohol while under the age of 21 is not legal and is unsafe. When teens feel a drug high, they experience positive feelings that can seem to increase mood and happiness.

  • The effects of drug abuse on teens can be permanent and damaging to themselves, friends and family.
  • Other signs are more blatant, such as empty alcohol bottles hidden in their room.
  • This cultural permission is the primary reason many college students ignore laws concerning drinking.
  • If you feel that you sometimes drink too much alcohol, or your drinking is causing problems, or if your family is concerned about your drinking, talk with your health care provider.
  • Providers can guide parents and concerned teens to the right facility with adolescent treatment programs and cutting-edge therapies.

To summarize the motivations for underage drinking, cultural norms allow underage drinking while social pressures facilitate them. Although the legal drinking age is set at 21, drinking at age 18 or upon entrance into college is the culturally accepted limit. This cultural permission is the primary reason many college students ignore laws concerning drinking. In addition to cultural motivations, students are socially expected to drink. Often if not always, social gatherings are centered on drinking. One study from 2005 showed that 26% of adults think underage drinking is okay if an adult is present.

Signs of Teenage Alcoholism

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. When alcohol is abused in large quantities the damage can be permanent. The causes of teenage alcoholism vary but some common patterns include pressure from peers, mental health disorders, and parents who consume large quantities of alcohol. These are only a few of the most common reasons but here are some other causes of teenage alcoholism. Alcohol’s impact on the brain—not to mention its immediate effects on everyday functioning—may explain why

kids who drink usually have serious difficulties in school.

Teenage alcoholism is a tragically common problem that results in thousands of deaths every year. The younger a person begins drinking, the more likely they are to be affected by alcoholism later in life. Talk to your child about the dangers of alcohol before they start drinking.

Providers can guide parents and concerned teens to the right facility with adolescent treatment programs and cutting-edge therapies. While, binge drinking does not necessarily make you an alcoholic, it is one of the primary contributing factors to teenage alcoholism. Once a high tolerance for alcohol is achieved, young drinkers can easily find themselves experiencing an alcohol use disorder (AUD), either while still underage or in their later years. Because the drinking age in the US is 21, alcoholism is often thought to be an adult issue. Despite this, teenage alcoholism is a very real and common problem.

Impact on your health

Keeping up with peers and “fitting in” are subtle and often subconscious ways that teens wind up entangled with drugs and alcohol. If your child is at a party and someone hands them a beer or a joint, they may take it without even thinking. If they decide not to, they may worry about what the reaction would be, or that they’re missing out on something that everybody gets to experience. Peer pressure is a daily fixture of middle and high school life, and it helps to realize this when trying to explain your teen’s actions.