Drinking can harm teenagers in countless ways, yet they fall victim to this substance. Learn why they drink and how you can help them overcome it.

How To Address Alcohol & Underage Drinking 

Teenage drinking and underage drinking are major problems in the country. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that approximately 24.6% of teens aged 14-16 admitted to having at least one alcoholic beverage.

According to NIAAA, binge drinking explains why adolescents drink more alcohol despite drinking less frequently than adults. Based on their statistics, they also showed the differences in binge drinking behaviors between male and female adolescents.

Studies on teens and alcohol have traditionally focused on the male population, often showing that men drink more than women. However, recent years have seen the results reversed. According to the same statistics, teenage girls are more likely to drink and become alcoholics than boys.

Why Teenagers Drink?

Adolescence is a challenging phase in life, and most people experience countless internal and external pressure during this period. Teenagers view this stage as limbo, where they actively seek independence and respect from adults.

Drinking should not be a part of a teenager’s life. However, certain factors may cause them to indulge in it. These include:


According to research, the brain continuously grows well until our twenties, when vital communication links and functions are refined. This means that during our adolescent years, the brain is still developing, resulting in the characteristic behaviors of adolescents, such as the tendency to seek out new and potentially dangerous situations.

Teens might try alcohol as a thrill-seeking strategy. The physiological changes teens experience can also lead to them drinking alcohol or engaging in impulsive behavior.

Expectancies and Peer Pressure 

The way people view alcohol and its effects can impact their drinking habits. Teens who see drinking as cool or desirable are more likely to binge drink than those who don’t.

Teenagers often experience their first social pressure during their teenage years from their peers, and social acceptance is crucial in this stage of life. This makes behaviors that are perceived as “cool,” like drug use, smoking, or drinking, prevalent.

Mental Health Issues 

Teenagers who are disruptive, aggressive, or hyperactive are more likely to have alcohol problems than those who are depressed or withdrawn.

Rebelliousness, the ability or inability to avoid harm, and other undesirable characteristics are some of the problems that alcohol abuse can cause for young people who are unafraid of the consequences of their actions.

Hereditary Factors 

Genetics can play a part in certain factors that affect behavior and the physiological risk of a person developing alcohol problems. A person is more at risk of becoming an alcoholic if they are a child or a relative of an alcoholic.

Children raised by alcoholics are more likely than their peers to become alcoholics. They are also more likely than others to begin drinking early and have drinking problems later in their lives.

Signs That Your Teenager Is Drinking 

Adolescence can be a roller coaster ride for parents. A teen’s mood swings and rebelliousness against authority figures can make parents more attentive to their teenager’s activities.

According to addiction treatment in Clarksville, here are some warning signs you need to know if you’re worried that your teen’s experimenting with alcohol:

Attitude Problems 

Adolescence can bring about changes in attitude and mood swings. This may make it challenging for you to spot signs of drinking. However, teenagers under the influence will exhibit erratic behavior. They will show a host of negative attitudes, such as anger, irritability, and defensiveness.

Physical Signs

Apart from bad attitudes, teenagers will always show physical signs that they are under the influence, like red eyes and a strong smell of alcohol. Be careful where you keep your liquor, or don’t drink at all.

School Problems 

Academic problems are signs of trouble ahead. Teens under the influence often fail to complete schoolwork and drop classes.

How Can You Intervene? 

It is difficult for parents to see their teens as young, developing adults with very valid problems. If you know your teen is drinking and you want to prevent the situation from worsening, here are some ways to help them stop drinking:

1. Effective Communication 

Teenagers often see their parents as authority figures who rule them and make them feel suffocated. They also tend to be narrow-minded and subjective, which makes communicating with them difficult.

As parents, making your teen feel safe and secure is essential. Make them feel loved, accepted, and appreciated. Talk with them without making them feel that you’re blaming, judging, or punishing them.

Avoid punishment; it will only make the situation worse.

2. Professional Help 

Rehabilitative services can help your teenager get on the right track and stop drinking. You can find rehabilitation centers in every corner of the country. They charge minimal fees and encourage teens to pursue hobbies and interests that keep them away from dangerous substances.

Key Takeaway 

Continuous alcohol consumption in teens is dangerous for their health and can lead to many problems. While this is undesirable, certain factors lead teenagers to alcohol, like peer pressure, genetics, risk-taking behaviors, and mental health. As parents, it’s our job to make them feel safe. Try to communicate with them effectively and give them the professional help they need.