Alcoholism is unfortunately a serious problem for teenagers. As a parent you need to be able to spot the signs of alcoholism so that you can nip it in the bud early. If you think that your teenager might be pressured into trying alcohol, might be drinking under the legal age or might be seriously addicted to some form of alcohol, then you need to be proactive and get help for your child sooner rather than later. Alcoholism is serious, and even small amounts of alcohol can seriously harm an under aged child so make sure that you know how to spot an issue before it becomes even more serious.
You might imagine that an alcoholic child would have a six pack of beers or a two-liter of vodka hiding under the bed, but it is not this easy to spot an issue with alcoholism. Because small miniature-sized bottles of alcohol are easy to acquire and conceal, your child may be hiding alcohol in very small, tight and hard to find places. Your child may also be drinking outside of the home. Rather than looking for the actual alcohol, you should be looking for inebriated behavior, smelling alcohol on the breath or simply noticing changes in the behavior of your child.
If you keep alcohol in your home, lock it up, or monitor it closely.
One way to monitor it is to keep a photo on your phone of the liquor area, so that you can compare the image to the current state of affairs to determine whether or not anything has changed. If the level of alcohol in a bottle changes, or the bottles are moved around, then you can be pretty sure that someone is messing with things behind your back and that it is time to take action.
When your teen is inebriated, he or she may be having difficulty concentrating or paying attention, or may seem sluggish or sleepier than normal. Everyone displays their “drunk self” a little differently, though, so the biggest thing that you are going to want to be looking for is changes in your child’s behavior over time. If a normally bubbly daughter is suddenly sluggish, slow and disinterested, then you might have something going on that you need to address. As a parent, you are most qualified to notice behavior changes in your child, and it might be a small and seemingly innocuous change that signifies that your child is spending some amount of time in your home inebriated.
If your child is drinking outside of the home rather than inside the home, then it can be a little more difficult for you to find the problem with drinking. The serious issue here is that if your teenaged child is drinking out of the home, then they could be potentially getting into trouble when you are not there to protect them or bail them out. Here you are going to have to rely on big behavioral changes. For example, if your child’s grades or participation in school are suddenly slipping, then this is a solid indicator that something is amiss.
Big behavioral changes are not the sign of a small problem, but rather are an indicator that something very serious is going on and that your teenager needs your help.
Children and teens often lack the insight necessary to realize that they have a serious problem. They may be struggling with alcoholism without the clarity to reach out and ask for help. Because of this fact, it is vitally essential that you be able to spot the problem and help them to get the assistance that they so desperately need. There are a lot of different rehab options and opportunities out there, many of which are geared specifically to help children and teens.
It is important that you find the right type of intervention approach to help your child. Do not be accusatory or mean, just explain to your teen that you think there is a problem and you want to be able to help.
If you approach your teenaged child with the right attitude and a willingness to find answers and solutions, then he or she is going to be much more receptive to your help, and may even be willing to ask for help themselves. From this point, finding the right alcoholism rehab facility is going to be key. A solution that fits the needs of your child while allowing them to continue with school and other obligations will be the best course of action.