What to Do if You Suspect Your Child Is Drinking
Maybe your child comes home from a party smelling like beer. Or you find that a bottle of wine has gone missing. Whatever has roused your suspicion, it’s important to take action right away—the earlier the issue is addressed, the better the situation will be.
- If you suspect that your child has a serious drinking problem, don’t hesitate to get professional support and help. Many physicians and addiction counselors can offer information on treatment options. You can also use the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration to find a treatment program near you.
- If your children try alcohol, address the issue directly and positively. Use it as an opportunity to help them learn from mistakes and make better decisions in the future.
- Many kids respect a direct, honest approach; if you think your child is drinking, it may be best to just ask them directly. Don’t be condemning or judgmental—just try to get the facts.
- If your child is drinking, it’s very likely that her friends are drinking as well. Talk to your child’s friends’ parents about ways you can ensure that parties and get-togethers remain alcohol-free, such as by having an adult supervise these events.
- Getting other adults involved can be a great help if your child begins drinking. By recruiting your relatives, your friends, your child’s friends’ parents, and other caring adults to your cause, you can ensure that your child is receiving positive messages about avoiding alcohol use on a regular basis.
Many teenagers experiment with alcohol, so if you find that your daughter or son has had a few drinks, don’t get too freaked out. It doesn’t mean that she or he is a bad kid—just that you’ll need to take some positive action. Talk to your child right away and work with her or him (and other parents) to prevent further underage alcohol use.
- Alcohol Use
- Drug Use
- Depression and Suicide
- Tobacco Use
- Bullying and Cyberbullying
- Early Sexual Activity
- Eating Disorders
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