Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances among teens. Easy access and social desensitization may give teens a false sense of safety and invulnerability with dangerous consequences. Teen alcohol use may lead to substance abuse and related issues in adulthood. Early intervention through teen alcohol rehab can help teens develop the skills and tools necessary for a bright future free of addiction.
Why Teen Drinking Shouldn’t Be Accepted as Normal
Often, parents will turn a blind eye to teen drinking or even enable the behavior because of false ideas that their child will drink regardless. Some parents may even encourage their child to drink at their home because they think it will be safer there. They may also have harmful beliefs themselves, believing that drinking isn’t as bad as other forms of substance abuse. The idea that teen drinking is some form of rite of passage and to be accepted is a common fallacy, and these misconceptions can be harmful to teens both now and into their futures.
In actuality, drug experimentation and peer pressure are included in risk factors for addiction, including alcohol addiction. The risk can increase when other risk factors are present, such as a lack of parental supervision and genetic predisposition. On the other hand, preventive measures can reduce the risk. These include factors such as anti-drug policies at school, parental supervision and support, and healthy familial relationships.
Teen drinking doesn’t always end as something fun and experimental. It has the potential to turn into an ongoing or life-long alcohol abuse problem. Alcohol abuse and addiction comes with signs and symptoms that are harmful to a person’s health, life and relationships, and it can contribute to a range of health problems.
Dangers of Teen Drinking
Because alcohol lowers inhibitions and increases impulsive behaviors, teen drinking can lead to serious consequences. Teen alcohol use and binge drinking may cause alcohol poisoning and/or damage organs that are still developing. When engaging in risky behavior because they are under the influence, teens could end up facing life-changing consequences such as car accidents or criminal charges. An increased risk of homicides and suicides are also associated with teen drinking.
Because adolescents are continuing to grow and develop, their bodies are unable to effectively process alcohol. The brain continues to develop until about 25 years of age, and thus may also be affected by underage drinking. Because alcohol affects the central nervous system, regular consumption in teens may lead to biochemical deficiencies and related physical and mental health complications.
The most common form of teen alcohol abuse is binge drinking, especially in social gatherings like parties. Inexperienced, they are more likely to consume too much alcohol and experience alcohol poisoning, a type of overdose.This can potentially lead to serious symptoms such as trouble breathing, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and seizures. Immediate medical attention for alcohol poisoning is vital to preventing tragic consequences.
Signs of Teen Drinking
Recognizing signs and symptoms of teen drinking is vital to early intervention. While not all underage drinking may be indicative of an alcohol abuse problem, addressing the issue before it gets out of control can help teens find a brighter path for the future. Signs of teen drinking parents and guardians should be mindful of include:
- Missing alcohol from liquor cabinets
- Withdrawal from other interests and hobbies
- Changes in the friend circle
- Increased moodiness or irritability
- Hangover symptoms (headache, nausea, vomiting) which disappear later in the day
- Signs of drunkenness
- Decreased school performance
- Risk taking behaviors
Just as it’s often possible to tell when an adult has been drinking because of changes to their looks and behavior, parents can often tell when a teen has been drinking. They might notice signs such as slurred speech, slowed reaction time, bloodshot eyes, stumbling and difficulty with coordination. Teen’s alcohol use that progresses to abuse or addiction may have more obvious symptoms. However, it may not always be possible to detect a drinking problem. Because symptoms of alcohol abuse may be subtle or mimic other conditions, they can be difficult to pinpoint.
A teen may also show signs of withdrawal if their body has become accustomed to continuous alcohol use and then they stop drinking. You may notice signs such as shaking hands, sweating, vomiting, nausea or headache. Alcohol withdrawal should be taken seriously, as more severe symptoms can become dangerous and even life-threatening. This is more likely with a more severe drinking problem. More serious signs include hallucinations, seizures, fever, racing heart, confusion, heavy sweating or high blood pressure. If a teen is exhibiting these symptoms, it’s important to get medical attention. They may require a supervised medical detox program to help them safely get through the withdrawal period. Continuing into a teen alcohol rehab for lasting success in recovery can help to address the root causes of addiction.
How Safe Landing Recovery Can Help
Teen alcohol rehab provides treatment for the behavioral changes that addiction has caused. It could also help a teen who is on the path to addiction to change the direction of their life. Rehab can help teens understand addiction and how it affects them. It can help them learn to manage problems without relying on alcohol as a coping strategy. And it can teach them how to live in a healthier way, so they can have a better chance at a future that’s not controlled by addictive substances.
Not all addiction treatment programs are open to teens, but Safe Landing Recovery is a private treatment facility that caters to this special population. It can also help with the specific situation of an alcohol addiction. This facility offers different levels of care, so it is equipped to help teens with different needs, goals and addiction severity. Its treatment programs include inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization programs that provide rehab while the teen lives on-site, or intensive outpatient programs or outpatient treatment that allows the teen to stay at home while receiving treatment during specific sessions.
Safe Landing’s programs include a combination of evidence-based and supplemental care. It can provide individual counseling to get to the root causes of the addiction, group counseling and life skills training to help teens learn how to live differently, and family counseling to work through problems within the family unit that are contributing to addiction or experiencing consequences of the addiction. It also provides social components that help teens bond with others and have fun while under supervision. This facility provides co-ed programs with separate housing for boys and girls.
Safe Landing Recovery can work around school. One option is that it provides flexible outpatient solution that allows teens to continue attending regular school. Another option is an inpatient program that includes schooling within the program. Safe Landing Recovery can help teens catch up, keep up or get ahead. It provides on-site instruction in core educational subjects, virtual schooling and test prep.
Teen alcohol use may seem common and normal, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Drinking in teen years can cause many consequences that can impact a teen’s life for years to come, potentially for a lifetime. Now is the time to intervene in problematic behavior and help a teen gain skills to enable them to live a healthier, better life. Teen alcohol rehab provides a range of services that can stop the drinking, work through addictive behaviors and help a teen learn how to manage their life without relying on alcohol.