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Repeated use and increased amounts of alcohol can lead to addiction and its many dangerous consequences. In addition to health risks, driving under the influence is responsible for many traffic accidents and fatalities. Adolescent alcoholism can stem from peer pressure and the portrayal of alcohol in the media, which romanticizes drinking but tends not to portray the consequences. Teens who drink to excess are more likely to develop into problem drinkers as adults. To prevent alcoholism and health consequences that continue into adulthood, an adolescent who drinks excessively requires treatment and alcohol rehab.

Sovereign Health is dedicated to treating both the cause and symptoms of alcohol abuse along with any co-occurring mental illnesses. Rehabilitation for alcohol abuse has multiple levels. Our addiction treatment specialists are empathetic toward and knowledgeable of the specific challenges facing teenagers who are addicted to alcohol. In our alcohol treatment programs, we deploy cognitive behavioral, family and group therapies to help with the emotional difficulties stemming from and causing substance abuse.

The Stages and Dangers of Alcohol Abuse

Despite the rise of other drugs as targets of abuse, teenagers still commonly abuse alcohol to their physical, mental, financial and legal detriment. Recognizing the signs of alcohol abuse in children may help stop the behavior before the worst consequences of addiction set in.

Adults are not the only ones susceptible to alcohol addiction: Many teenagers struggle with it as well. For teens in the United States — meaning adolescents from the ages of 12 to 17 — alcohol is the substance used most often. Alcohol addiction is diagnosed when it is determined that a person has developed a negative pattern of alcohol use leading to a number of problems. 

Alcohol Addiction Can Be Divided Into Five Main Stages:

  • Access to alcohol
  • Beginning to use alcohol
  • Increased use
  • Regular usage
  • Alcohol dependence

The younger people are when they start drinking, the more likely they are to develop a problem. Alcohol addiction in teens raises the risk of car accidents, a higher school dropout rate, increased suicide attempts and other drug use.

Symptoms of Adolescent Alcohol Addiction

The symptoms and signs of a teen abusing alcohol can include changes in behavior, personal appearance, school habits and more. Other signs of alcohol abuse include:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Changes in overall personality
  • Hiding stashes of alcohol
  • Excessive need for privacy
  • Moodiness, irritability, nervousness, oversensitivity or resentful behavior

Physical symptoms:

  • Overall poor hygiene
  • Messy or careless appearance
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain

School-related troubles:

  • Drop in grades
  • Defiance toward authority and complaints from teachers
  • Truancy and loss of interest in schoolwork
  • Loss of interest in school activities, hobbies or sports

Relationship-related symptoms:

  • Withdrawal from family members
  • Disengagement from family activities
  • Change in friends and/or secrecy about new friends

Health-related indicators:

  • Sweatiness, dilated pupils or bloodshot eyes
  • Runny nose not caused by allergies or a cold
  • Unexplained nosebleeds, nausea and vomiting
  • Depression
  • Inability to sleep or unusual sleep patterns

Issues in the home:

  • Locked bedroom door
  • Frequently broken curfew or house rules
  • Missing household funds or valuables

Monetary troubles:

  • Unexplained need for money
  • Inability to account for spending
  • Getting caught cheating or stealing

Causes of Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

Teenage alcohol abuse can begin for a variety of reasons. Most of these factors are found within the home. Teens who develop drinking problems often have low levels of parental supervision or communication, and come from homes with family conflict, inconsistent or severe parental discipline and a family history of drug or alcohol abuse. Other factors can include problems managing impulses, emotional instability, thrill-seeking behavior and a lack of understanding of the real risks of drinking.

Alcoholism Treatment For Teens at Sovereign Health

Teens who drink to excess are more likely to develop into problem drinkers as adults, requiring treatment at an alcohol detox center and an alcohol rehab center. Preventing this requires alcoholism treatment that includes attendance at a behavioral health center.

If your adolescent needs alcohol rehab, please contact Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego. We work with you to create a treatment that will solve the problem and create lasting solutions to help prevent a relapse. If your teen struggles with a co-occurring addiction or a mental health condition, you may want to ask about our dual diagnosis treatment programs.

Our staff will discuss the admissions process, payments and treatments with you. We accept most health insurance plans and can help you verify coverage. For more information and to talk with our staff, please call our 24/7 helpline.

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