In today’s society, more and more adolescents are using alcohol. The average age that girls try alcohol is 13, with boys trying alcohol by age 11. Fortunately, there are many warning signs that can help identify if a teenager is abusing alcohol.

  • Changes in behavior
  • Changes in academic performance
  • Change in friends
  • Slurred speech, poor coordination, blood shot eyes, or smelling alcohol on their breath
  • Poor memory
  • Asking for money more frequently
  • Begin to steal in order to pay for alcohol
  • When confronted, they might become defensive and make excuses, or try to justify their actions.
  • Advantages to Inpatient Treatment

If a teenager is in need of treatment for alcohol abuse, outpatient substance abuse treatment is usually the first option; however, many teens are unable to stay sober with this form of therapy. While outpatient can be helpful, inpatient treatment has a higher recovery rate. In outpatient, teenagers are still able abuse alcohol and continue their pattern of destructive behaviors at home.

Inpatient treatment is more intensive and effective. The teen is able to reside in a secure and safe environment in which they are monitored 24/7. Inpatient treatment generally lasts for a few months, which helps the teen to focus on their sobriety. They are free from distractions and there is no possibility of sneaking off to drink. Also, they often submit to random alcohol screenings. Another advantage is that the teen is able to live in a community with people their own age who are struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction. Being in an environment with other peers, who share similar experiences, can be extremely beneficial. The teenager is able to relate to others, feel connected and know that they are not alone. Additionally, the adolescent is able to build support networks to assist with their sobriety both in rehab and when they return home.

Teens and Alcohol Abuse

According to one study by SAMHSA, in 2008 there were 1.8 million admissions to inpatient treatment centers. Of the 1.8 million admissions, 7.5% were adolescents aged 12-17 and alcohol abuse was the leading cause for admission at 23.1%. Another study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year as a result from underage drinking.

Alcohol abuse is a disease that does not discriminate against age, sex, religion, race, or sexual orientation. Inpatient treatment is an effective and life-saving treatment option that can help adolescents recover from alcohol and assist them to lead successful lives.