Teens' Alcoholism: How to Turn Their Back on Alcohol
Guest Blogger: Sarah Del Rosario
It is not easy for teens make the transition from childhood to adulthood. Sometimes issues like drug and alcohol abuse arise. If your teen is struggling with alcohol, there are things you can do to help get him or her back on track.
• Assess the Problem
It is important to know the extent of the problem. You need to know for sure if a teen is experimenting or if they are addicted to alcohol. An addicted teen will need medical intervention to detox. He or she would also benefit from a treatment facility. If the teen is experimenting, then such measures are not usually needed. Be honest and deal with the reality of the situation.
• Underlying Causes
When teens abuse drugs like alcohol, there is almost always an underlying cause. A teen might try self-medicating an undiagnosed mental condition, like depression or ADHD. Trauma or low self-esteem can also be a problem. It is important to address these issues and to deal with them. Consider counseling or other therapeutic treatments to examine the reasons behind their alcohol use. Addressing teen issues with a professional often yields better results than trying to do it on your own.
• Value Their Health
If a teen is experimenting with alcohol, bringing up the facts about their health can help. Explain to them how alcohol can affect their liver and their still developing brains. They need to know that what they are doing is changing who they are. Encourage healthy habits like eating well and exercising. They only have one body, and damaging it is not an option.
• Keep Open Communication
Talking to your teens is important. While they may act like they do not care about what you have to say, teens still value the advice given by their parents. Engage in active listening with your teen. This is when you listen carefully to what they say, and repeat back what you believe they said. Communicating this way shows teens that you are hearing them and understand what they are saying. Talk about future goals and ambitions. Explain how alcohol consumption can influence those goals and make them unobtainable.
• Understanding Teens
While your teen may feel like he or she is an adult, this is not the case. Their brains will continue to grow until they are in their mid-20s. Teens will struggle with impulse control and understanding the consequences of their actions. Having firm boundaries and consequences will help. Sit down with your teen and write down the rules and the consequences for breaking them.
Having them written down eliminates misunderstanding. It is important that a teen knows for sure what the consequence for breaking these rules is going to be.
Addressing teen issues like alcoholism is difficult but necessary. This is often a multifaceted problem that requires professional intervention. Help them understand the value of their health and body, as well as how their future goals can be affected by the use of alcohol. Maintain open communication with your teen as well.
About the Author
Sarah Del Rosario is a soon-to-be mom and a professional writer. She currently contributes at Help Your Teen Now. Help Your Teen Now brings together a vast collection of resources that will help families find their bearings and learn more about addressing teen issues.