PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Early intervention can prevent alcoholism in teens. For young people, the likelihood of addiction depends on the influence of parents, peers and other role models; how much they're influenced by advertising of alcohol; how early in life they begin to use alcohol; the psychological need for alcohol; and genetic factors that may increase their risk of addiction.
If you have a teenager, be alert to signs and symptoms that may indicate a problem with alcohol:
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies and in personal appearance
- Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, problems with coordination and memory lapses
- Difficulties or changes in relationships with friends, such as joining a new crowd
- Declining grades and problems in school
- Frequent mood changes and defensive behavior
You can help prevent teenage alcohol use. Start by setting a good example with your own alcohol use. Talk openly with your child, spend quality time together, and become actively involved in your child's life. Let your child know what behavior you expect — and what the consequences will be if he or she doesn't follow the rules.
- Saitz R, et al. Screening for unhealthy use of alcohol and other drugs. http://www.uptodate.com/ index. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Hoffman RS, et al. Management of moderate and severe alcohol withdrawal syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Alcohol and public health: Frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm. Accessed March 29, 2010.
- Gold MS, et al. Psychosocial treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Esser MB, et al. Binge drinking intensity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012;42:625.
- Johnson BA, et al. Pharmacotherapy for alcohol abuse and dependence. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 2, 20127.
- Substance-related disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Harmful interactions: Mixing alcohol with medicines. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets. Accessed June 3, 2012.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 14, 2012.
- Overview of alcohol consumption. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Underage drinking. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/underage-drinking. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Alcohol use disorders. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Fetal alcohol exposure. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/fetal-alcohol-exposure. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- Beyond hangovers: Understanding alcohol's impact on your health. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Hangovers/beyondHangovers.pdf. Accessed June 2, 2012.
- College drinking. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Accessed http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/college-drinking. June 2, 2012.
- Breast cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/breast-cancer-risk-factors. Accessed June 12, 2012.
- Public policy statement on the definition of alcoholism. American Society of Addiction Medicine. http://www.asam.org/advocacy/find-a-policy-statement/view-policy-statement/public-policy-statements/2011/12/15/the-definition-of-alcoholism-(ncadd-asam). Accessed June 25, 2012.
- Schneekloth TD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 23, 2012.
- Thiamin. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional_disorders/vitamin_deficiency_dependency_and_toxicity/thiamin.html. Accessed August 1, 2012.