4 Red Flags of Alcoholism: Should You Be Worried About Your Teen’s Drinking Habits?

If you think your teen has drinking habits, then you should be worried. Although teen alcohol consumption is illegal in the United States, it is true that about 10% of American drinkers are between the ages of 12 and 20. The fact of the matter is that teens who engage in underage drinking are more likely to become alcoholics or become dependent on alcohol at some point in their adult life. So, if you notice any of these red flags of alcoholism, don’t wait to look up alcohol treatment Orange County to give your young person a healthier and happier future.

1. Changes in Personality

It is common knowledge that adolescents can be quite moody, but they are not usually on a never-ending emotional elevator. There are far more moments of tenderness, where the young person you know and expect shows up and interacts with you and others in a healthy and more typical manner. If you notice there is a lot more lying, particularly about drinking (not denying drinking but lying about the amount of consumption), there is definitely cause for concern. 

2. Repeated Irresponsible Behavior

Teens are known for being irresponsible at times, but most teens do not routinely put themselves in danger. Although young people tend to see themselves as invincible, they don’t typically choose to mix prescription drugs and alcohol repeatedly, jumping off of bridges, outcrops, and other things while intoxicated, or engaging in other extremely risky behavior. Impulsive behavior and tomfoolery are a hallmark of adolescence, but blatant indifference to personal safety is a huge red flag.




3. Withdrawing from Family and Friends

Changes in social behavior can signal a great many things, like depression, sexual abuse, and alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse always affects relationships, whether it is with family or friends. If you notice a change in your teen’s circle of friends, don’t be afraid to ask questions. This new group of friends may not play a positive role in your young person’s life. When someone points out their drinking habits, teens will also cut the observer out of their life instead of recognizing and owning the problem. 

4. Poor Performance in School

School is one of the easier areas for teens to ignore, and far too often, alcohol will take precedence over academics, social interactions or bonds, family interaction and a lot more. When your teen’s grades slack dramatically or when there are consistent complaints about their behavior or attendance, you need to take a good look at the situation. Students don’t usually become C or D students overnight. 


If you notice any of these warning signs, it is your duty as a parent, guardian, educator, family member or friend to speak up and do what you can to help. The great thing about youth is that it only lasts a short while and it can be a lot easier to nip a potential problem before it spirals out of control. Teenagers still have a lot of growing to do, so introducing healthy habits and behaviors can make a huge impact on their adult lives.

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