Something’s different about your son or daughter. You can’t really put your finger on it. They’re often tired, seem disinterested, and isolate themselves from you. Could it be an early form of alcoholism? Understanding the signs of alcohol abuse is crucial to getting them the proper addiction treatment.

Behavioral Changes Could Be Alcohol Abuse

Your teen or young adult spends an extraordinary amount of time partying and staying out late. Let’s be honest, there’s a good chance alcohol is part of the experience. Most forward-thinking parents believe they’ve done a good job preparing their children for the party scene. However, sometimes peer pressure can be stronger than your morality lessons.

When the occasional drink turns into frequent binging, you may notice changes. Your teen may lie and steal money to buy alcohol. You’ll also find empty bottles containing alcohol residue in their room or vehicle. Additionally, they may often appear to have hangover symptoms but claim it’s a cold.

A young man appears distressed while struggling with alcoholismAbove all, be on the lookout for these changes, especially if you have a family history of alcoholism. Did you know your teen or young adult could be suffering from depression or anxiety? If so, alcohol use could be a way to self-medicate. When you talk to your loved one about drinking, they may respond defensively or deny everything.

Treating Alcoholism Now

It’s important to understand, things won’t get better without treatment. Starting the conversation about alcohol abuse isn’t easy. It might be hard for your child to take you seriously if you allow yourself to become emotional. This is why clearly and succinctly stating alcohol use danger to them is an effective, confrontational method.

That said, having this conversation alone isn’t necessary. Enlisting expert assistance helps you handle these discussions. For example, with middle school teens, early intervention makes a huge difference. With the support of an addiction therapist, you and your teen can productively express yourselves.

However, if your child is a young adult, participation in age-appropriate addiction treatment programs works as well. Examples include:

  • Intensive outpatient treatment that allows your loved one to remain home while in drug rehab
  • Family therapy that helps you and a loved one heal and build trust
  • Relationship therapy that emphasizes the formation of a healthy support group
  • Dual diagnosis assessment and treatment to handle behavioral disorders that contribute to alcoholism
  • Individual counseling that encourages behavioral changes and thought patterns

What Happens if I do Nothing?

Substance abuse isn’t a phase. The disease model of addiction explains that drug abuse is a brain disorder. As a chronic progressive disease that gradually gets worse, doing nothing is the worst method for handling it. This may lead to many physical and psychological consequences.

Furthermore, because addiction is a disease, there’s no guarantee your teen or young adult will outgrow it. The only way to handle the condition is with age-appropriate treatment. The earlier you catch it, the better the prognosis. When you let alcohol abuse turn into alcoholism, it’s much harder to treat.

Get Your Teen or Young Adult Help Today

Don’t put it off any longer. When you believe your loved one struggles with an alcohol use disorder, Zelus Recovery in Meridian, Idaho can help. Our experts specialize in working with teens and young adults under 25. Call 866-365-4436 today to get your son or daughter the help they so desperately need.