How to Combat Teenage Alcoholism [Infographic]
Alcoholism isn’t an illness that targets adults exclusively. Teens, and in some cases even children, can fall victim to the disease. To combat teenage substance abuse, awareness and education is key. Knowing more about teen alcohol abuse and addiction can be instrumental when it comes to preventing teens from drinking. It could also help your child understand that they need help.
Explain the Dangers of Alcohol Addiction Early
With more than 35% of teens drinking alcohol by the age of 15, it’s never too early to start explaining the risks of alcohol consumption, abuse and addiction. Parents can be the greatest influence over children and teens, but they often don’t utilize this advantage until it’s too late. Rather than waiting until they’re in their late teens, parents should tackle teenage substance abuse before it becomes a problem.
Teach the Difference Between Consumption and Abuse
Over 87% of adults in the United States consume alcohol, and teens might get the impression that alcohol consumption is therefore sanctioned by their parents. In reality, there’s a staggering difference between alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse. Talking about binge drinking is a great idea, because that’s how most teens consume alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the definition of binge drinking is:
- 3 drinks for girls between the ages of 9–17
- 3 drinks for boys between the ages of 9–13
- 4 drinks for boys between the ages of 14–15
- 5 drinks for boys between the ages of 16–18
Understand the Scope of Alcohol-Related Deaths
One of the best ways to combat teenage alcoholism is to present the facts regarding alcohol-related deaths. Teens consuming alcohol are more likely to be in fatal accidents. Although car accidents initially come to mind, a lowered reaction time and an increased desire for risk can also lead to situations like drownings, homicides, alcohol overdoses or suicides.
Emphasize the Risks of Drinking and Driving
Unfortunately, many still see teen drinking as a rite of passage. Teenagers should understand the incredible risk of drinking and then operating a moving vehicle. Teens who don’t drive should know the risks of being a passenger, particularly if their friends drink regularly. Many parents are shocked that as many as 10% of teens drink and then drive in any given month.
Look for Signs of Alcohol Dependence or Addiction
Teens who start drinking by 15 have a substantially increased risk of developing an alcohol addiction. For that reason, it’s important to learn the warning signs of alcoholism, which can include:
- Changes to appearance
- Variance in sleep schedule
- Increased erratic behavior
- Lower quality school performance.
Communication, awareness and education are key ways families can combat teenage alcoholism. Call 866-704-7692 to learn more about how teens can take back their lives and break free from substance abuse.