Recognizing Alcohol Abuse in Teens


Recognizing Alcohol Abuse in Teens

By Emily Aranda

Teens who experiment with alcohol put their health, safety, and reputation with the law at risk. Though many different reasons may lead to a teen abusing alcohol, these reasons all have the potential to lead to alcohol abuse by teens.

Common risk factors for teen alcohol abuse include:

  • A family history of alcohol abuse
  • A mental or behavioral health condition
  • A history of trauma
  • Low self-esteem/insecurity
  • Impulsivity
  • Peer pressure
  • A desire for social acceptance
  • Family problems
  • Close friendships with teens who drink

Teens who drink consume more than 90% of their alcohol by binge drinking. The allure of alcohol paired with its inaccessibility to those who are underage may be a reason for why, when obtained, teens tend to binge drink.

Warning Signs of underage Drinking include:

  • Change in mood, including anger/irritability
  • Academic and/or behavioral problems
  • Rebelliousness
  • Changing group of friends
  • Less interest in activities once pursued
  • Coordination problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Smelling like alcohol
  • Finding alcohol among his or her belongings

Abusing alcohol as a teen may be about more than the alcohol itself. If you or someone you know may be abusing alcohol as a teen, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit




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