With so many threats to teenagers these days in and out of their social lives, you may be unsure of how to fit in a conversation about drugs and alcohol. The latter is a more prominent threat to most high schoolers, so find a way to talk to your child about alcohol abuse before it has the chance to become an issue in their life.
Binge Drinking, Drunk Driving, and Teen Alcohol Abuse
The goal here is to present them with facts without employing “scare tactics” which are shown, historically, to not produce the desired results. Instead, open a dialogue in which you both speak and listen and your son or daughter is comfortable enough to do the same. You want to create a judgment-free air in which they can be honest about the habits of others and the feelings that they have on the subject. For yourself, you should be honest, but open-minded and understanding.
Something that should come up is the fact that drinking has a way of “sneaking up on you.” Alcohol abuse can include binge drinking, which is a frightfully-common practice within high school students. It can be hard for someone of any age to judge their state after having a lot to drink, and others around them, who may have imbibed in similar quantities, are likely just as unable to judge. This is why so many young people think that they are safe to drive after drinking, but aren’t (even with the affirmations of friends). Make sure that you stress your ability to pick them up at any time so that they are never tempted to drive while drunk, or to get a ride from someone else who has been drinking.
A common misconception among teen alcohol abuse habits is that drinking wine or beer has less effects than other types of alcohol and is therefore “safer.” Of course, even if there is less strength in a single beer, drinking a ton of either beer or wine is dangerous. Thinking that one of these is a better choice for binge drinking can result in sickness, blacking out, or worse. Whatever is being drunk, it should be in moderation, and care should always be employed in these situations.
Another important truth is that engaging in alcohol is not the foolproof recipe for a good time. Yes, some experiences will seem good at first, and there are certainly “happy drunks,” but drinking can just as easily lead to sadness, anger, frustration, and more. Your child is likely to have certain perceptions about the “benefits” of drinking, such as its ability to boost confidence or popularity, but this is why your discussion about the truths and myths of alcohol and alcohol abuse is so important.
It’s crucial to develop rules surrounding these habits while also acting as support. You may decry their drinking, but you should still at as a resource if, again, they need to be picked up safely from a party. It’s possible to be both a firm source of guidance and a parent, providing guidelines while gently correcting behavior when it happens. One of the most important things for you to remember is “if you think a little drinking is okay, be clear about that too, and what you mean by ‘a little.’ Don’t say one thing while your children know you mean another.” Clarity is a huge part of this conversation.
If you need a little extra help in guiding your child through high school alcohol abuse risks, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
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About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]