Signs of Drug & Alcohol Abuse in Teens and Young Adults

If not, the school district is likely to have a substance abuse prevention and counseling program. If you witness any of the above mentioned warning signs and believe your troubled teen has an issue with alcohol, be sure to get help as soon as possible. Even if they don’t have a problem with alcohol specifically, they may have other issues that need addressing. Since teenagers don’t always like to divulge too much information to parents, see if they will open up to another close family member or to your family doctor/mental health professional.

Adolescents who drink are at a high risk of engaging in various dangerous activities. Learn more about teenage alcoholism, warning signs, and how you can help. Family members, teachers, friends and other loved ones are usually the first people to recognize the warning signs of underage drinking. While some symptoms are easy to identify, others may not be as apparent.

Underage Drinking

The U.S. Surgeon General surmises about 5,000 kids under 21 die every year as a result of underage drinking. Alcohol poisoning, car crashes, homicides, and suicides are among teenage alcoholism the increased risks teens face when they’ve been drinking. Teenagers have brains that are still developing, so warning signs vary greatly depending on the teenager.

  • Although any teen is susceptible in abusing alcohol, there are certain groups of individuals that may be at more risk than others.
  • In 2010, there were 189,000 visits to emergency rooms as a result of underaged alcohol-related injuries.
  • But people either do not take them seriously enough, or allow the person who made the threat to convince them that it is not genuine.
  • If you witness any of the above mentioned warning signs and believe your troubled teen has an issue with alcohol, be sure to get help as soon as possible.

If there is no clear evidence of abuse, families should contact their primary health care physician to rule out a physical problem. If formal intervention is necessary, local substance abuse professionals should be contacted. In addition, it might be helpful to learn more about screening tools, prevention efforts, and treatments.

Warning Signs Your Teen is Drinking Alcohol

Treatment providers can connect you with programs that provide the tools to help you get and stay sober. Treatment professionals are trained to determine if an individual does or does not meet the requirements for a substance use disorder diagnosis. The criteria used for these evaluations come from the DSM-V-TR and provide an assortment of behaviors and situations that help to clarify if an individual does have a substance use disorder.

There are also behavioral, physical and environmental factors that may play a role in the risk of adolescent alcohol abuse. If you are a parent concerned that your child may be abusing drugs or alcohol, such as binge drinking or taking an illicit drug, it’s important to take action immediately. Waiting or ignoring the early warning signs can put your teenager at risk of becoming addicted, overdosing, or making other decisions that could have lasting impacts on their health, life, and future. Your health insurance company can give you a list of mental health and substance abuse providers. If your employer has an employee assistance program, you can get a referral there. Your child’s school may suggest a good substance abuse treatment program.

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