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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is My Child Drinking?

There are multiple warning signs that your child may be developing a problem with alcohol. Many of these could also be signs of other things. But if you see several signs it's time to learn more.

Here are a few signs to watch out for:

Your teen becomes more argumentative – Have you noticed that one minute your child is happy and giddy, then becomes withdrawn, depressed, or explodes into fits of anger or rage? This type of volatility can be a sign that he is altering his mood with substances. Be particularly wary of manic behavior and then depression. Then again, it could just be hormones.

Your teen stays in his room a lot – If your child is drunk or on drugs at home, or sneaking alcohol, he will be scared you’ll find out. This means when he’s using, he’ll avoid you by remaining in a place where you don’t usually go. His room is a sanctuary where he can be high or drunk in private. It doesn't hurt to knock on the door and see what happens.

Your teen’s sleep patterns change – You know your child better than anyone. Many teens stay up and sleep late. A sudden shift can be a sign of substance abuse. It could also be that teens' sleeping patterns are mystifying.

Your teen has a new group of friends – Adolescents who drink often seek out others that can help them obtain alcohol or start attending parties where they can find it. Some kids move from group to group to hide their drinking from everyone.This a big warning sign - if your kid changes crowds this could be why. A number of alcoholics I interviewed for this book said they changed their friends so they could be around kids who had alcohol.

Your teen’s grades decline – If your child’s grades suddenly decline it could be a big red flag something is wrong. Again adults who had drinking problems told us their grades started slipping and then tanked.

Your teen asks for money without a good explanation – If your child recently started asking for more spending money, or cash starts disappearing from the house? That could be an indication of alcohol purchases. It could also be an indication that he's dating.

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