Most adolescents experiment with alcohol use during their high school years. Experimentation in itself isn’t problematic. However, it’s vital to educate yourself and the teens you love regarding safe and responsible alcohol use to avoid the pitfalls of addiction. If a teen you love is abusing alcohol, then it’s time to consider a teen alcohol addiction treatment program.
At Fort Behavioral Health, we have numerous resources available for teen alcohol experimentation, including teen alcohol addiction treatment. Contact us today online or at 844.332.1807 to learn more about adolescent alcohol experimentation.
Adolescent Alcohol Experimentation
Teenagers experiment with alcohol at an alarming rate. The vast majority of high school students have experimented with alcohol, and many begin this experimentation as early as age twelve. Teens who drink alcohol regularly are more likely to smoke cigarettes, use drugs, and get into trouble.
Alcohol is one of the most popular substances in the world. According to some estimates, it is the second most common substance used by teenagers, only behind tobacco. To this end, it is normal for teens to experiment with alcohol. However, we know that alcohol can be dangerous for teenagers and can have an adverse effect on their health. So, how can one tell when this experimentation becomes a problem and what to do about it?
A teen having one or two drinks in a social setting over the course of several months is not concerning. However, when drinking becomes a regular activity, habit, or the center of gravity for your teen at social functions, the experimentation has gone too far, and alcohol use has become unhealthy.
Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain
Teenage drinking can be a severe problem for adolescents. Experimentation can quickly become regular use which can, in turn, lead directly to alcohol abuse.
The effects of adolescent drinking, especially binge drinking, on brain development are apparent.
Binge drinking during adolescence can lead to changes in brain function, including:
- Altered connections between different areas of the brain
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Memory loss
- Cognitive impairment
Educating yourself and your teen on these risks can reduce their likelihood of taking alcohol experimentation too far.
Reducing Your Teen’s Risk of Experimenting with Alcohol
Teen alcohol experiments are typical. But they are serious and must be addressed as such. So, how can you tell when you should intervene? If you notice any signs of alcohol abuse, it is certainly time to seek professional help. However, there is no need to wait for the warning signs to initiate conversations around safe and responsible alcohol use. Having frank discussions about alcohol early and often can set your teen on the path to intelligent decision-making.
Adolescence is complex, often very difficult and teenagers require a delicate balance of freedom, structure, and guidance. They shouldn’t necessarily be punished for experimentation. Instead, they need to learn the skills and mindset to make responsible decisions for themselves. Talking with your teen openly about your concerns– and listening to them can help set them up for success. Parents, caregivers, and trustworthy adults must be actively involved in their children’s lives.
Contact Fort Behavioral Health Today for Support for Adolescent Alcohol Experimentation
At Fort Behavioral Health, our team of experts has extensive experience guiding teens and their loved ones through all things related to alcohol experimentation, abuse, and addiction. From peer support groups to inpatient treatment, our well-appointed facility and qualified professionals are equipped to provide all levels of support to teens and their families.
If you have questions about adolescent alcohol experimentation or any other issue related to adolescent addiction prevention and treatment, please contact us today by calling 844.332.1807 or completing our online contact form.