What to Do if You Think Your Teen Is Abusing Alcohol

Discovering that a teen is engaging in drug or alcohol abuse is devastating for parents. It can be difficult to know what to do in these situations. Every family will respond in a slightly different way. However, in all cases, it’s necessary to reach out to addiction professionals for help. The counselors at a rehab in Fort Lauderdale can help you figure out what to do next about your teen’s alcohol abuse or addiction.

Make Observations

In some cases, a parent might only suspect that a teen is abusing alcohol because of changes in behavior, grades, or personality. If you have suspicions, but need to confirm them, evaluate your teen’s behavior carefully. Does he or she often break curfew, hang out with new friends, or behave in a secretive manner? Perhaps your teen comes home smelling strongly of perfume or body spray; this could be an attempt to mask the smell of alcohol. Consider whether you’re willing to violate your teen’s privacy by searching his or her room for hidden alcohol.

Contact a Rehab

Even if you don’t have definitive proof that your teen is abusing alcohol, you should contact a rehab to discuss your concerns with a professional. A counselor can offer guidance on confronting your teen and convincing him or her to seek help. You might need to take your teen to a specialist for a screening prior to admitting him or her to outpatient therapy.

Teen-Proof the Home

When your child was a toddler, you childproofed your home to prevent accidental access to dangerous substances. Now, it’s necessary to do the same thing for your teen. Don’t assume that if your teen is drinking, he or she will stick to alcohol. You’ll need to lock up prescription medications, cough syrups, and your own alcohol, if applicable. Your teen needs a clean environment in which to work on his or her recovery.

Eliminate Pocket Money

While your teen is going through counseling, you should eliminate the temptation to begin drinking again. Avoid giving your teen cash for school lunches, movie tickets, clothes or other items. Instead, write a check to the school cafeteria and directly purchase items your teen needs.

Provide Ongoing Support

Regardless of how upset you may be at your teen for abusing alcohol, remember that he or she needs your ongoing support. Let your teen know that you love him or her and are proud of him or her for getting treatment. Attend family counseling sessions and parent support groups.

Prescription Medicine Abuse in Teens

In teens, prescription drug abuse is a major problem. Many teens can easily access medications from the family home or from friends. Others use their own medications in a manner other than prescribed by their doctors. Outpatient therapy and family counseling is available to combat this growing addiction problem in the Fort Lauderdale area.

The three common types of medications that may lead to addictions in teens include opioids, depressants, and stimulants. In addition to increasing the risk of an addiction, prescription drug abuse among teens can lead to short-term and long-term health problems. For example, teens who take high doses of opioids run the risk of breathing impairment and death. Stimulant abuse can lead to paranoid behavior, rapid heartbeat, and a dangerously high body temperature. Depressant abuse can cause shallow breathing, slurred speech, and disorientation. At high dosages, depressants can also lead to death. Parents who suspect that their teens may be abusing prescription medications are encouraged to get in touch with a rehab immediately for guidance.

What Is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is a serious health risk and societal problem. Individuals who binge drink can benefit from seeking substance abuse treatment near Fort Lauderdale. Often associated with alcoholism, binge drinking is generally defined as the consumption of enough alcohol to elevate blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08% or higher. In women, this equals about four drinks per occasion. In men, it’s about five drinks per sitting.

You can hear more about alcoholism and binge drinking by watching this video. It explains the many dangers of this form of alcohol abuse. Among other problems, binge drinking encourages dangerous behaviors like drunk driving, unprotected sexual intercourse, and even interpersonal violence. This video also discusses some of the ways that community leaders can discourage binge drinking.

How Prevalent Is Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Teens?

Adolescence is a time of significant transition. Teens are preoccupied with social pressures and they are trying to fit in at school. They’re also beginning to assert their independence more vigorously. During adolescence, an individual is at a high risk of experimenting with drugs and alcohol. For some teens, in Fort Lauderdale, substance abuse follows experimentation. If you suspect that your teen may be engaging in alcohol or drug abuse, you can find the help your family needs at a rehab facility.

Alcohol

The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducts an annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of U.S. students in eighth, 10 th, and 12 th grade to evaluate their drug use and attitudes toward drugs. The good news is that alcohol use among this demographic has declined significantly over the past five years. According to the organization, 41.2% of 12 th grade students tried alcohol in one reported month during 2010. The most recent survey reflects that 35.3% of 12 th graders had tried alcohol. There was also a decline in the percentage of 10 th graders who reported daily use of alcohol and an overall drop in the number of binge drinkers among 10 th and 12 th graders. This is encouraging news for combating alcoholism in the next generation, but these trends in underage drinking could still use major improvements.

Opioids

The same MTF survey reports that opioid use among teens is also on a downward trend. This includes narcotic pain relievers and heroin. In fact, since the MTF survey began, heroin use is at an all-time low among all ages surveyed. Despite an increase in the use of heroin by adults, the MTF survey reports that the majority of teens disapprove of even occasional heroin use.

Marijuana

Now that many states have passed laws that allow medical and recreational marijuana use among adults, one major concern was that this trend would encourage marijuana abuse among teens. The MTF survey reveals that although marijuana use has not declined among teens, it also has not increased. Over the past five years, marijuana abuse has held steady among eighth, 10 th , and 12 th graders. More than half of 12 th graders surveyed reported disapproving of regular marijuana abuse.