Underage drinking often seems like a part of adolescence. While many teens experiment with drinking to test boundaries and fit in with friends, they can develop alcohol use disorder. Alcohol dependency is increasingly common across the United States. A drug and alcohol treatment program is the safest way for young adults to detox and overcome alcohol use disorder.
If your child engages in underage drinking, it may be a sign of underlying mood disorders or unprocessed trauma. Our Venture Academy team can help. Our recovery centres give young adults ages 18-25 the tools they need to safely recover from alcohol, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders. Reach our staff online or at 866.762.2211 to learn more about our drug and alcohol treatment programs.
Common Alcohol Dependence Symptoms
Alcohol seems benign because it’s legal and easy to get. However, like any drug that alters brain chemistry, alcohol is surprisingly addictive. Alcohol affects the brain and body by slowing down the nervous system. This causes slurred speech, impaired motor skills, and changes in judgment. It can ease tension and make people feel less stressed or anxious. Frequent drinking can become habitual drinking and lead to alcohol use disorder and alcohol dependence symptoms.
Alcohol dependence symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Secretive or aggressive behaviour
- Blatant drunkenness
- The inability to stop drinking after one beverage
- Changes in social habits
- Changes in school or athletic performance
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in hygiene
Physical alcohol dependence symptoms include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Weight changes
- Changes in skin tone
- Smelling like alcohol
Underage drinking is often highly social. When drinking habits shift to secretive drinking or drinking alone, it may be a sign someone is suffering from alcohol use disorder. As parents, it can be hard to know what’s going on in teenagers’ lives. That’s why it’s important to engage in open, honest, non-judgmental conversations to understand why a teen is drinking. If your teen is showing these symptoms, now is the time to talk to them about underage drinking and seek professional support.
Underage Drinking and the Risk Alcohol Use Disorder
If a teen has alcohol use disorder, chances are they’re self-medicating with alcohol. Many teens self-medicate to avoid hard feelings and unprocessed trauma. For some teens, drinking may be a sign of undiagnosed anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders. Drinking may provide temporary relief from a range of emotional, physical, and psychological symptoms. However, alcohol is a depressant in the long term and can increase depressive states.
Alcohol can damage organs, cause dehydration, and result in a range of adverse health effects. Alcohol is a gateway drug and can lead to other drug use over time. Attempting to quit alcohol use at home can be dangerous and ineffective. Many people will reuse and overdose when detoxing at home.
Teen Drug and Alcohol Treatment
If there’s an underage drinker in your household, know you are not alone. Unfortunately, today’s teens live very stressful lives. This often leads to alcohol and drug use. If you don’t know how to help your teen, contact Venture Academy today. Our team treats mood disorders, addiction, and unprocessed trauma with a multidisciplinary approach. Our programs provide the flexibility and long-term treatment many teens and their families need to regain control of their lives while balancing work and school. We provide teen drug and alcohol detox alongside clinical treatment with three programs across Canada.
Help Your Teen with Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Venture Academy
Don’t let another day go by without the support that your teen needs to overcome alcohol addiction. Call Venture Academy now at 866.762.2211 or fill out our online contact form to get started with our drug and alcohol treatment programs.