5 Ways to Talk about Alcohol Abuse in Teens

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Alcohol abuse in teens is a very real risk and unfortunately much too common. Use these five methods as a guide for addressing alcohol abuse to your teen. Clear, open and honest communication is important to prevent a problem before it begins.

Encourage Communication.

Teens have a tendency of closing up and rebelling when they feel they are misunderstood or their voices are not heard. Speak to your child about alcohol abuse in teens in a manner that encourages their feedback, questions and regular communication. A “because I said so” rule about not drinking alcohol can be counterproductive. Provide information and guidance and allow your teen to discuss what he or she already knows about alcohol and alcohol abuse.

Be Honest.

Speak about alcohol abuse in teens with complete honesty. The dangers and risks are real so a straightforward conversation will sufficiently delineate the message you want to bring across.

State the Dangers of Alcohol Abuse in Teens.

Alcohol abuse presents many dangers including health risks, legal risks, risky behavior, poor performance in school and more. The risk of developing alcoholism is even far greater for individuals who begin to consume alcohol as teenagers.

Discuss Peer Pressure.

Many teens would never consider drinking alcohol if the temptation wasn’t brought about by peer pressure. Be frank about how dangerous peer pressure can be and explain the importance of being a leader and making decisions for oneself. It may be difficult for teens to exert their own opinions and independence in the complicated years of high school but the intrinsic rewards will surely be felt soon after as they go off on their own into the adult world. A great way to paint a clear picture of peer pressure is to describe it as immature, foolish and potentially harmful.

Speak about Alcohol Abuse Myths.

Alcohol abuse in teens may be addressed by debunking common alcohol abuse myths. Your teen probably believes that he or she has heard it all and understands everything there is to know about alcohol. The truth is even many adults mistakenly believe many alcohol abuse myths to be true. Here are a few alcohol abuse myths to start a conversation.

  • Myth: Drinking alcohol is less dangerous than using drugs. Alcohol abuse can be just as dangerous as drug abuse. Though alcohol is sold legally everywhere, it is still a powerful drug that must be treated as such.
  • Myth: If adults drink alcohol, teens should be able to safely drink alcohol as well. Teens are not the same as adults as they are still undergoing specific developmental processes which can make them particularly susceptible to lasting damage or problems due to alcohol consumption.