We’d all like to assume that our teenagers are behaving. But, the truth is, teenage alcohol abuse is just as much of an issue as it’s always been. But, how do you know if your kid is one of the one’s drinking? Ultimately, we can assume as parents that our kids will make decisions outside of our control. But what about when that behavior becomes destructive? What should I be looking for in their daily life that signals unhealthy alcohol use?

Teenage Alcohol Abuse: What Should I Look For In My Kid?

A drastic downward shift in academics 

One of the first signs you might see to signal teenage alcohol abuse is a big change in your kid’s academics. In these cases, you may see your “A” student become a “C” student rather quickly. Because alcohol is a downer, when using heavily, people can become disinterested in things they once cared about. So, once important things such as good grades and college applications, may seem not-so important. In addition, alcohol use can also cause a lack of paying attention, a disinterest if you will. Therefore, they may begin suffering in the classroom quite quickly if abusing alcohol, which will likely show up in their grades.

Behavioral Changes 

Another tell-tale sign of teenage alcohol use is behavioral changes in your kid. For instance, some teens may become depressed, more irritable, or more distanced from the things they once held dear. They can become angry and mad much more quickly than they normally do. In addition, they begin to suffer from depression or sadness which can cause them to lose interest in their usual activities. In other cases, they may begin to suffer from anxiety.

Change in Friends 

Another thing you may notice when teenage alcohol abuse is taking place, is a change in friend groups. When your teenager begins hanging around a totally new crowd, or ditching their old friends, it could mean they are engaging in new behaviors such as binge drinking.  So if your child begins separating themselves from old friends, it could be time to have a talk; see where their head is at. It could be a natural shift, or it could point to some larger problem.

It can affect anyone

Keep in mind that these signs, while popular, are not going to fit every case. Anyone can suffer from alcohol abuse, and no child or adult is immune. So, watch out for these signs, but also look for others. Any swift change in behavior could be a sign of alcoholism. But, at the same time, you never know who’s holding it together quite well. Teenage alcohol abuse is incredibly dangerous, mostly because young adults don’t understand their limits yet. For children, alcohol abuse can be incredibly destructive to their future as well…

Many adults who visit the bars quite often, will understand their limits. Granted, many abuse those limits— but understand them nonetheless. Not to mention, in adult alcoholism, there are typically people around to say that your behavior is destructive whereas many teenagers won’t know the difference. Ultimately, alcoholism transcends through age, race, income level, gender… there is no grouping that has not been affected. So, learn the signs; speak with your children about safe alcohol use instead of making it a taboo; but most importantly, make sure they know you’re always there if you need them. Alcoholism is scary, and no one should have to go at it alone…