Alcohol Abuse Prevention
- Table of ContentsPrint
- Providing the Right Message
- Keeping Tabs on Your Teen
- Rule Enforcement
- Be Open With Your Teen
Given the prevalence of alcohol abuse in the adult population, it makes sense that we should focus on preventing alcohol abuse among young people. In today's world, kids are subjected to a number of societal pressures—from advertising, portrayal in popular culture and entertainment, to feeling the need to fit in with peers and social groups. It can be a struggle to combat the flood of these influences, however, there are many things that parents can do to help keep their children safe from the dangers of alcohol. If you think your teen would benefit from treatment for alcohol abuse, please call us today at 1-888-744-0069Who Answers?.
Alcohol Abuse Prevention Quiz question 1
Providing the Right Message
To be sure, ignoring the issue is not the way to approach alcohol abuse prevention. To a great extent, teens look to parents and other authority figures in modeling their own behaviors. If clear guidelines for what is acceptable in your home are set forth early on, parents have taken the first step in preventing problem behavior such as drinking. Additionally, your teen needs to know that questions they have about the issue can be raised without fear of retribution or suspicion.
There are many common misperceptions about alcohol and alcohol use that our youth may have. Armed with knowledge about the issues themselves, parents can do much to prevent an alcohol problem from starting simply by providing honest answers to these questions. Answers about the effects of alcohol use can be provided, and followed up with the expectation that your teen abstain from such dangerous activities. Many children wish to not disappoint their parents and, with clear guidelines, will aim to avoid alcohol altogether.
Alcohol Abuse Prevention Quiz question 2
Examples of prevalent teen attitudes towards alcohol use:
- Nearly 40% of adolescents did not perceive a great risk in drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks nearly every day (SAMHSA, 2013).
- Alcohol isn't perceived to be as harmful as other substances such as heroin and cocaine (SAMHSA, 2013).
- Many adolescents point to peer pressure as a potential motivation for alcohol use (NIAA, 2016).
Alcohol Abuse Prevention Quiz question 3
Keeping Tabs on Your Teen
Raising children is no easy task. With so many variables—parenting style, temperament of your child, as well as the peer group that they find themselves surrounded by—it’s impossible to control for everything. Furthermore, it might be counterproductive to attempt to raise a child in a completely protected environment. Still, a parent with little insight as to the whereabouts and activities of their child runs the risk of encountering problems.
Even trustworthy teens are bound to find themselves in some questionable situations over the course of their development towards adulthood. Being vigilant isn’t necessarily being overprotective. Knowing the location, company and activity of your family members throughout the course of the day can help keep them safe. The advent of cell phones makes it easier than ever to check up on your teen. Additionally, straying from a perceived routine in terms of when you are at the house yourself might go far in preventing a teen from feeling complacent that they are alone and able to do whatever they please. For parents who are unable to be at home after school has let out due to work obligations, having other family members or neighbors keep a helpful eye on a child—even if from a distance—can make a big difference in preventing adolescent and teen alcohol abuse. Call us at 1-888-744-0069Who Answers? to learn more about alcohol treatment options for your adolescent or teen.
Alcohol Abuse Prevention Quiz question 4
Previously, we spoke of putting forth the right message about alcohol abuse to your child. An important counterpart to establishing guidelines for a teen is to follow up by enforcing these rules. Teenagers need to know that there will be consistently meted out consequences for any transgressions to these rules. Guidelines should be established for what type of consequence is warranted. At one extreme is the threat of legal consequences since alcohol abuse for minors is inherently unlawful.
On a more personal level, there are numbers of frighteningly close-to-home health consequences of alcohol abuse that can be reiterated to a teen. In fact, apprehension about severe health consequences or even death (from automobile accidents, etc.) in relation to alcohol abuse might by the deciding factor in a teen avoiding alcohol use altogether. Whatever may occur, it is imperative that a blind eye is not turned on any evidence of alcohol use or abuse by your adolescent or teenager. A child who escapes consequences of his or her actions is apt to repeat them. For help in choosing an alcohol rehab center for your adolescent or teen, call us at 1-888-744-0069Who Answers?.
Alcohol Abuse Prevention Quiz question 5
Be Open With Your Teen
Communication is the Key
As mentioned before, it is important to provide an environment for your teen in which they feel safe coming to you with any questions about alcohol.
The questions could arise merely from curiosity, or they could point to a deeper issue a child might be facing in terms of pressures from school, work and/or peers and how those pressures might translate into drinking behavior or alcohol use. Avoiding these questions could be the worst thing you could do—providing your teen with no tools to combat the pressures to drink, or any reasonable ways to react to situations they may find themselves in where alcohol is present.
Do not be afraid to recount your own experiences, or even problems with alcohol that you may have encountered when you were their age. Stories of people you know who started drinking in high school, who have suffered or died from alcohol-related accidents or the negative health effects of long-standing alcohol abuse, reinforce the fact that even they aren’t immune to the ill effects of alcohol. Communication is a cornerstone to preventing alcohol abuse. If communication has broken down between you and your teen, and you feel they are in need help for alcohol abuse, call us at 1-888-744-0069Who Answers?.
Alcohol Abuse Prevention Quiz question 6
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Underage Drinking. January 2016. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/UnderageDrinking/UnderageFact.htm.