Alcohol and the Teenage Brain

One of the reasons that alcohol abuse is such a significant concern for teens is that the teenage brain is still developing. In fact, during teenage years, connections in the brain are reinforced through the processes of pruning and myelination.

As this video explains, alcohol use can inhibit these processes, which might permanently affect behavior, mood, hormonal balance, balance, and movement. Therefore, it is important to seek a rehab program in Fort Lauderdale if your teen is using alcohol. Watch the whole video clip to learn all the ways that alcohol affects teens differently and see the importance of getting help.

Signs of Teen Alcohol Use

If you’re concerned that your child is participating in underage drinking near Fort Lauderdale, you should take the time to learn how to recognize the signs of alcoholism and addiction in teens. A teen alcohol counseling center can provide your child with intervention services, teen therapy, and family counseling that will help you navigate the complicated world of teen substance abuse. Here is a look at the most common signs of teen alcohol abuse.

Behavioral and Emotional Changes

One of the first signs that you will notice in your child if he or she has a problem with alcoholism or addiction is behavioral and emotional changes. Your child may begin acting defensive, secretive, and may start lying frequently and rebelling against rules. He might exhibit bad behavior in school, poor grades, and infrequent attendance. He may become disinterested in his usual habits and hobbies. He might also start hanging out with new friends and/or isolate himself from old friends.

Physical Changes

There are many physical changes that are associated with underage drinking and teen alcoholism. Your child will exhibit slurred speech and a lack of coordination when under the influence of alcohol. If your child is hungover, he may sleep for unusually long periods of time, complain of headaches and nausea, and have low energy and bloodshot eyes. He may also look visibly exhausted and noticeably ill or impaired.

Changes in Cognitive Ability

After a period of regular alcohol abuse, your child may begin exhibiting changes in his cognitive ability. He might have difficulty concentrating or following conversations, television shows or movies, or school assignments. He may also begin to develop memory lapses or exhibit impulsive behavior or poor judgment. In severe and prolonged cases of addiction and alcohol abuse, your child may suffer from permanent damage to certain regions of his brain. For this reason, it’s very important to seek early intervention from a teen substance abuse treatment center so that your child can learn how to stop drinking.

Myths About Teen Drinking

It can be difficult to determine whether or not your teen has a problem with alcohol addiction in Fort Lauderdale. You may have been subject to some of the many common myths that surround underage drinking and teen substance abuse. It is important to dispel the myths regarding teen alcoholism so that parents are able to seek early intervention from a teen recovery center.

Watch this video to learn about some of the most popular myths about teen underage drinking. The video, from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, demonstrates some of the ways that teens view underage drinking and alcohol abuse.

Intervening In Your Teen’s Drinking

If your teen has a history of alcohol abuse in Fort Lauderdale, you need to seek intervention from a teen recovery center as soon as possible. The sooner your teen learns how to stop drinking, the better his chances are of managing his addiction and avoiding serious health complications. Here are some tips for intervening in your teen’s underage drinking.

Record Observations of Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Before you begin planning a formal or informal intervention, you should start recording your personal observations of the warning signs of your teen’s alcohol abuse. A professional at a teen substance abuse treatment center can provide you with a list of early signs of alcohol abuse in teens. Take note of any changes in your child’s behavior, appearance, habits, health, schoolwork, and physical abilities. This information will be necessary if you decide to proceed with an intervention.

Keep Track of Suspicious Behavior

When teens participate in underage drinking, they often exhibit suspicious behavior. You should keep track of this in the same way that you keep track of the signs of alcohol abuse. Write down instances in which your child breaks rules, gets in trouble at school, has fights with friends or relatives, acts defensive, lies, misses curfew, or steals from you. This will help you and the specialist at your teen’s addiction recovery center determine how serious your child’s alcohol abuse is.

Check for Alcohol or Missing Alcohol in Home

Teens often hide alcohol in their bedroom, or steal alcohol from their parents’ liquor cabinet. You should look through your teen’s room when he isn’t home for bottles of alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia that may indicate that your child has a substance abuse problem. You should also be aware of how much alcohol is kept in your home, and take note of any that goes missing. You may consider locking up your liquor cabinet, or removing alcohol from your home entirely.

Helping Your Teen Choose Healthy Friendships During Recovery

The relationships in an adolescent’s life play a significant role in teen recovery in Fort Lauderdale. In many addiction cases, it’s enabling and toxic relationships that can contribute to your child’s initial development of substance abuse problems. Teaching her how to choose healthy relationships will aid in her recovery.

Toxic Relationships

It’s common for teens struggling with alcoholism or addiction to reach the point that their relationship with their drug of choice is the most valuable one in their life. Behavioral changes and ambivalence to her social life may have cost her any positive friendships she once had. Teens with substance abuse issues commonly develop or maintain relationships only with the people who supply their drugs or alcohol, or with whom they abuse drugs.

Enabling Relationships

Friends that your teen abused drugs with pose one of the greatest risk factors she will face during her recovery. When an addict continues to spend time with their supplier or enabler, they are more likely to consider relapsing into drug or alcohol abuse. Any person who will make excuses for your teen and try to cover for her to prolong her substance abuse behavior poses a threat to her sobriety.

Identifying Relationships

Your child’s professional rehab program will help you and your adolescent identify unhealthy and damaging relationships in her life that promote her chances of relapse. Her counselor can aid in changing these relationships when possible, or explain the need to remove them if necessary. Additionally, your adolescent’s counselor can help her identify any healthy and positive relationships in her life and guide her to develop and strengthen them to support her recovery.

Developing New Friendships

If your child has no healthy social relationships, she will be strongly advised to create new friendships. These positive relationships often develop from participation in support groups and therapy programs with other youths who are facing similar challenges. Finding new friends and maintaining her healthy relationships is a vital step in your adolescent’s recovery and long-term abstinence.

Factors That Increase the Risk of Teen Drug Use

The more risk factors that an adolescent is presented with, the more likely they are to engage in substance abuse in Fort Lauderdale. Risk factors can vary in severity at different stages of development and are strongly influenced by protective factors. An essential goal of prevention is to outweigh risk factors, such as peer pressure and bullying, with protective factors like a strong parent-child bond.

Early Risk Factors

There are some risk factors for drug misuse that can be identified as early as infancy or childhood. Common examples include a lack of self-control, difficult temperament, and aggressive behavior. As the child develops, his interactions with family members, friends, teachers, and other students can affect his risk for drug abuse or alcoholism later on. There are situations at home that can also heighten a child’s risk for later substance abuse, including a caregiver who abuses drugs, poor parenting, and a lack of nurturing.

High-Risk Periods

When an adolescent is facing major changes in their life, they deal with greater risks for developing abuse problems. When a child transitions from elementary school to middle school, they encounter new types of experiences and social interactions. It’s at this age that adolescents are likely to face alcohol or drugs for the first time. High school brings additional pressure and challenges from social, educational, and emotional factors. Combined with greater exposure to drugs through peers and social activities, the risk of teen substance abuse increases dramatically. Once youths leave their home environment for work or to attend college, the risk factors for abuse surface again and can be dangerously high.

Protective Factors

Risk factors present themselves at every stage of a child’s development, making prevention a major factor in strengthening your adolescent’s resistance to drug abuse and alcoholism. Recognizing when a child is doing poorly in school, either socially or academically, and intervening with programs that can increase protective factors can reduce their risk for drug abuse. Protective factors that can balance these risks include a strong bond between the parent and child, clear discipline, and parental involvement in the child’s life.

Is It Possible to Predict Binge Drinking in Teens?

If you’re a parent dealing with teenage alcoholism or alcohol abuse near Fort Lauderdale, you may be wondering what leads to binge drinking in teens. Most high schoolers have tried alcohol by the time they turned sixteen, and a portion of these youths develop binge drinking habits while they’re still in high school.

Watch this video to see how scientists are learning how to predict binge drinking in teens. In a study published in the journal “Nature”, neurologists discovered indicators that predict which fourteen-year-olds will become binge drinkers by the time they are sixteen.

The study found a link between alcohol abuse and personality types; specifically, that thrill-seekers were more likely to develop binge drinking habits. The researchers also found that children in families who have a history of alcoholism or drug abuse are at a higher risk for binge drinking.

Highlighting the Benefits of Intervention Services

Services for intervention in Fort Lauderdale can help your loved one recover from alcoholism and addiction. Intervention can be a powerful experience for all who are involved, improving understanding between parents and children and opening a path to recovery.

When a family member is suffering with abuse or addiction, intervention services are designed to reduce risk factors for continued use and to motivate the individual to modify their dangerous behaviors. Adolescent intervention services monitor the patient’s condition and progress, and provide ongoing assessment of the adolescent’s need for referrals and other services.

At The Bougainvilla House, our treatment model includes helping the affected adolescent or family member realize that they have a substance abuse problem or addiction, and to enlighten them to healthier behaviors and lifestyles. We prepare the youth or family member with the necessary skills to lead a life free of drug and alcohol misuse, and connect them to the recovery services that they need to be well again.