What to do when your teen has a drinking problem

The drinking problem is an umbrella term that encompasses heavy drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol use disorder. The person loses control over alcohol intake, and there are withdrawal symptoms involving intense craving and a negative emotional state. Studies reveal that more than a million people all across the globe suffer from this disorder. Alcohol use disorder or AUD is not just limited to adults but also adolescence between the age of thirteen and seventeen suffer.


Early age alcohol abuse may lead to dangerous long term consequences on a person’s health. It also increases the risk of other substance addiction and abuse patterns. Moreover, a negative impact on internal organs and problems in brain development may also follow. It is crucial to learn about how to help teenagers who are struggling with alcohol use disorder.


The dangers of alcohol use disorder in teens


Developing alcohol use disorder in the formative years of life may lead to severe health and legal consequences. It makes the person dependent on all alcohol in the later part of life. Moreover, it enhances the risk of stroke, heart diseases, liver diseases, mood disorders, and many kinds of cancer. Teenage drinking is a significant contributor to death resulting from injuries.


The risk of developing other forms of addiction and Polydrug abusers also heightens. It leads to engagement in risky sexual behavior, becoming victims of sexual assault, and getting into serious accidents, particularly physical fights and car crashes. Alcohol hampers the functioning of some areas in the brain, which may lead to reduced neuroplasticity, poor memory, decreased ability to learn, and changes in behavior.


The ways of inferring alcohol abuse in adolescence


There physical signs that can tell you whether the teenager is abusing alcohol. They include a deterioration in appearance, change in sleep pattern and appetite, bloodshot eyes, staggering academic activities, change in social groups, degraded coordination, demanding privacy and becoming isolated, stealing of cash, lying about probable alcohol abuse, mood swings, and other related behavioral changes.


The best treatment options for adolescence


The parents or guardians of the teenager have the legal right to force the child into treatment, making intervention necessary. They may have to arrange for relevant rehabilitation and detox process. The treatment method is available in both outpatient and inpatient options. However, the focus needs to be on developing a unique program for each personality. The treatment approach must cover the whole nature of the teenager rather than just focusing on substance abuse. These include social, academics, personal and creative issues.


  • Outpatient rehabilitation program: many people opt for this option because they feel the child is safe at home with their parents. Moreover, the treatment allows the adolescent to attend school during regular hours. They have different kinds of sessions designed according to the case in focus. Following the sessions regularly may help the teenager to overcome the problems associated with alcohol abuse.


  • Inpatient treatment: it is useful for those teenagers who have serious addiction issues and co-occurring mental illness. The method works with an approach of modifying all the aspects of the teenager’s personality. The inpatient drug and alcohol rehab focuses on therapies and sessions that can help the person fight and win drug abuse. The different programs so designed, does not give enough time to the teenagers to think about drugs. The continued support on a 24/7 basis helps the individual to get the much-needed support that they want. It relieves them of all the anxiety and depression. Since access to the outer world is limited, it positively affects their reach to drugs and alcohol. It thereby curtails the risk of relapse.


  • Adolescent-focused recovery program: these are mostly outpatient programs that provide room for the teenagers to continue with their schooling and daily activities. They help meet the local and state education requirements. Studies reveal that brief interventions may work well to help the adolescent end the substance abuse problem. The support provided by behavioral therapy is adequate for teenagers who are into heavy drinking, abusing drugs, binge drinking, etc. The programs focus on developing solidarity between teenagers and their parents. They believe that a strong association between them can help the teenager open up regarding their problems before their parents. 


Visiting college may not mean relapse


After recovering from alcohol use disorder, they slowly return to everyday life. However, sending them to college may be intimidating. It is because college campuses are popular for drinking events. Since they are on their own, parents often fear sending their children to meet their academic requirements.


Fortunately, many educational institutions are trying to develop ways to support students recovering from the disorder. They try to promote small groups of students getting together for various events that do not involve drugs or alcohol. You must know that the inpatient alcohol rehab in Maine focuses on teenagers’ importance of getting back to college life. It is because they feel that getting back to college will give them a feeling of normalcy. They provide the necessary resources for treatment and recovery. The continued provision for psychologists, medical professionals, and therapists helps the teenager overcome substance abuse easily.


Providing support to the adolescence through their recovery process is very crucial. Learning how to speak about the risks of alcohol and drug abuse, distinguishing myths from facts during the treatment process, supporting sobriety at home is critical. Parents need to make use of the necessary resources to get their children the best possible treatment option.

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