About two-thirds of kids have reported trying alcohol at least once by the time they turn 18, making alcohol the most-used substance among teens. Unfortunately, a lot of these kids are also drinking regularly or binge drinking on the weekends.

As a parent, you never want to believe your teen has been abusing alcohol. But it’s important to be aware of the signs of teen drinking so you can seek help for your child if they are in need.

Keep reading to learn about five warning signs of underage drinking.

1. Changes in Behavior

Have you noticed your teen behaving differently recently? While some changes in behavior can be due to a number of things, including stress or puberty, there are some noticeable changes that can be clear warning signs of alcohol abuse.

For example, have you found your teen to be secretive lately? Have you caught them in lies about where they go after school or on the weekends? This is a common sign of underage drinking.

You might also notice more direct changes in behavior when they come home after a night with friends. Are they acting clumsy or being loud and obnoxious? That’s a tell-tale sign of underage drinking.

2. Hanging Out with a New Friend Group

If your teen has suddenly started hanging out with new friends, and no longer spending time with childhood friends who you believe to be good influences, it might be because your teen has started drinking.

Oftentimes, when kids start drinking, some friends will disapprove and so they will gravitate towards the people who also enjoy drinking.

However, if you notice your teen spending time with new friends, don’t jump to conclusions. It could be for a number of reasons, so simply ask them about the new friends and see how they respond.

3. Personality Changes

Sometimes, when alcohol is used frequently, there can be noticeable personality changes in your teen. Some things to watch out for include:

  • Irritability
  • Drastic and sudden mood changes
  • Aggressiveness
  • Defensiveness

If you notice any of these personality changes, try talking to your teen to see if there is something going on. If they are elusive or secretive, you may need to have your teen complete a drug and alcohol test to see if that’s the cause of the personality changes.

4. Performing Worse in School

One of the most concrete signs that your teen might be abusing alcohol is a decline in school performance. If you notice a drastic drop in grades or you’re getting calls that your child is missing school, it could be a warning sign of underage drinking.

Recognize These Teen Drinking Warning Signs

As a parent, there’s nothing more worrying than finding out about your teen drinking alcohol. Luckily, there are a lot of resources to help your child stop drinking and start living a sober life while focusing on school and other positive things.

Here at Heather Hayes & Associates Inc, we have the most effective recovery options and programs for teens struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. We tailor our services to meet the needs of each individual person, so they can successfully overcome their addiction and start living a happier and healthier life.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and resources.