Alcohol is the most widely used substance by teenagers today. In fact, nearly two out of every three students have already consumed alcohol by the end of high school, and over one quarter by the end of 8th grade. The majority of people in the United States consume alcohol, and most individuals over 18 admit to drinking on a regular basis. Perhaps the reason alcohol use is so common among youth today lies in its increasing availability. Teens seeking alcohol can simply reach into their parents’ or friend’s parents’ liquor cabinets, or ask a friend in college to buy them a bottle for a small additional fee. Many high school students today even have fake IDs.
[alcohol rehab for adolescents] If you think your child is drinking, and his alcohol consumption is becoming a problem, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Alcohol abuse is extremely dangerous, and can put a person in various risky situations. Alcohol stands as the third leading preventable cause of death in the country—approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from underage drinking each year.
Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, can occur in anyone, at any age. It is one of the most difficult addictions to identify, however, because it is so widely accepted among our culture. Unlike harder drugs such as heroin or cocaine, alcohol is easily accessible and socially accepted. People, young and old, drink to celebrate and enjoy themselves on various occasions. It is easy, therefore, for them to also mask their habit.
Alcohol addiction comes in various forms: it can show in someone who drinks heavily all day, or in someone who excessively binge drinks for a weekend. No matter its form, an addicted person physically and mentally depends on alcohol, and cannot stay sober for long periods of time.
Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
While the short-term consequences of alcohol abuse are dangerous, the long-term effects of alcohol in teens are equally if not more so worrisome. Alcohol addiction increases one’s risk of nerve damage, liver disease, and heart disease. It also physically changes a person’s brain structure, and further impairs his mental capabilities later in life. Because the adolescent brain is still developing, it is critical to catch any possible drinking habits of your loved one early on. Look for these warning signs:
Short-Term Side Effects:
- Slurred Speech
- Impaired Judgment
- Decreased coordination
Signs of a Developing Alcohol Addiction:
- Neglect of responsibilities or poor performance at school/work
- Violent or criminal behavior
- Lack of interest in family or friends
Now ask yourself the following:
- Does your teen drink frequently?
- Does he drink a lot, due to a higher tolerance?
- Does he lack “hangover” symptoms?
- Does he drink at inappropriate times of day?
- Does he avoid situations where there is not alcohol?
- Do his friends drink alcohol just as regularly?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, or believe that your son is exhibiting signs of an alcohol addiction, then it is important that he receive professional treatment as early as possible. By finding a specific alcohol rehab for adolescents, you will help your son avoid the major consequences that this disease of alcoholism can bring. Be supportive when suggesting treatment, and help him understand how and why he needs help.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
The recovery process for alcohol addiction is a lifelong commitment. It requires great strength, and daily maintenance. Therefore, it is important that your teen understands his problem and desires to get better. There is no “quick fix” to addiction, and no easy road to sobriety.
One of the most common initial treatment options for young men struggling with alcohol addiction is an inpatient rehabilitation program. With a minimum of thirty days of treatment, an inpatient rehab program can show adolescents and young adults how to handle withdrawal symptoms, defeat emotional obstacles, and combat social pressures in the future.
Many recovering alcoholics choose 12-Step meetings following their initial treatment, or choose to live in sober communities. By doing so, those in recovery are able to establish relationships with those who are going through similar situations. They can support each other through day-to-day challenges, and show them that healthy, sober friendships are both possible and positive.
Ultimately, it is important for adolescents and young adults to recognize the root of their problem. Many teens begin drinking as a way to de-stress, to fit in, or to numb a deeper, emotional pain. In general, they are especially sensitive to social pressures, issues with self-esteem, and acceptance of themselves. Turning Point recognizes this, and specializes in treating young adults who are struggling with these every day stresses alongside their battle with alcoholism. Our alcohol treatment program for young men identifies the cause of an addiction, and further assesses each teen’s specific needs. Alcohol addiction is largely fueled by risk factors in one’s environment and by the people he surrounds himself with, so we aim to provide each young man with a safe, secure environment, free from outside pressures.