Teenage drinking is a severe and pervasive problem. Whether it is casual consumption or something far more severe, it can have adverse effects on your child’s physical and mental health.Brain damage is the most concerning effect that drinking can have on an adolescent. Though researchers have found it difficult to determine precisely what the long-term effects are, they have found that it does, in fact, have a negative impact on the part of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning. They’ve also found that these harmful effects are irreversible.There are so many ways in which drinking can be detrimental to your child, and the worst way is if their drinking spirals into an addiction. If this happens, there are behavioral, physical, and cognitive symptoms that will begin to manifest due to your child’s alcohol addiction. Below, we’ve listed some of the types of things to be looking for if you’re concerned that your teenager has developed an alcohol addiction.
Some of the symptoms of teen addiction will be obvious – the smell of alcohol, flushed face, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. When it comes to other symptoms that are less obvious, it’s possible that it will be hard to determine whether to attribute them to alcohol abuse or something else. For instance, changes in sleep pattern could also be due to anxiety or depression – which are likewise serious and should be treated as well.The best way to determine the cause of these symptoms and avoid teen addiction is to maintain an open and honest dialogue with your child. If your child refuses to communicate and becomes increasingly secretive as you try to reach out, this may also be a sign that there is an alcohol abuse issue.
One of the hallmark signs of teen addiction is a sudden shift in behavior. If your child starts acting out at school, getting in trouble with the law, performing poorly in classes they were previously doing well in, etc., it may be time to consider alcohol abuse as a possibility.
If your child suddenly starts exhibiting cognitive symptoms like lapses in memory, difficulty concentrating when they weren’t experiencing it before this, in combination with other physical or behavioral symptoms, this is a good indication of teen addiction.
Some Causes of Teen Addiction
Teen addiction is often caused by root issues like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, among many other issues. Alcohol can be used as a means of secret self-medication in these kinds of situations as a way to avoid the stigma associated with the mental health issues. It is essential to identify and help your child deal with these mental health issues properly. Therapy and medication work in tandem to help control health issues like anxiety and depression.
What to Do About Your Teen’s Addiction?
If your child has fallen into alcohol addiction, the Mid-Atlantic Teen challenge is an excellent resource. As a year-round boarding school for boys aged 12 to 17, we focus on teen addiction and how to rise about it using discipleship and mentoring programs to help get to the root causes of your child’s addiction. If your child is struggling with teen addiction, make sure to contact us so we can talk about a solution for your son!