Teen Drinking: Warning Signs

Building off of my previous post on what to do if your teenager comes home drunk, today I’m going to write about some of the warning signs that your teen might be drinking. Drinking is extremely risk for teens to engage in: they could be sexually assaulted, mugged, have alcohol poisoning, drink and drive, do poorly at school, and all sorts of other bad things. Here are a few warning signs to look out for, so you can have an honest dialogue with your teen before things get worse.

5 Warning Signs To Look Out For

  1. Alcohol going missing. Perhaps the most self-explanatory warning sign, if you notice that your own alcohol is going missing, then it has to be going somewhere. If your alcohol is kept somewhere that isn’t secured, put it in a locked cabinet or in your locked bedroom; also, begin marking the alcohol levels in your bottles, and count how many beers etc. are in your possession. Also check that the alcohol hasn’t been watered down.
  2. Money going missing. This is not necessarily always tied to alcohol, but if you notice money going missing, then it may be that your teen is using that money to pay for something they can’t ask you for. Leave some money out one evening, and if it’s not there the next day, you’ll know that someone is taking it.
  3. Staying Out After Parties. You might be the type of parent who allows their teen to go to parties, but try to enforce a rule that your teen must come home by curfew. If they insist on sleeping over at friends’ houses, or coming home themselves every time even after you’ve offered to pick them up, it is likely that they’re trying to hide something. While they could just be trying to look cool in front of their friends, repeated instances of this behaviour can indicate that they are drunk after parties, and don’t want you to see.
  4. They are fatigued constantly. If your teen is more tired than usual, this can suggest hangovers and late nights. Again, fatigue is not always tied to drinking, but in combination with other signs, this is definitely one to watch out for.
  5. Losing interest in their hobbies. Your teen may have been interested in video games, sports, or photography.. and suddenly, now, they don’t care about the things they used to light up over. Loss of interest can be a sign of mental illness, bullying, and a number of other things, including drinking.

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