While some teens drink alcohol occasionally at parties, others become addicted and cannot control their intake. Aside from the fact that it's unhealthy for a teen to consume so much alcohol, it can be dangerous if he has a driver's license and if he drives while intoxicated. Parents are often unsure if their teen has been drinking since the signs of drinking can be due to normal teenage behavior. However, if you see several warning signs at once, inquire whether your child is drinking.
One sure sign that your child is drinking is if he comes home from a party or disco smelling of alcohol and his speech and movements are uncoordinated and clumsy. Other telltale physiological signs are if your teen's face appears flushed and his eyes are unfocused, red and dilated. Your teen might exhibit behavior changes as well. Teenagers who drink alcohol regularly are extremely moody, fluctuating between giddiness, anger and withdrawal. They are less motivated scholastically and often sleep more during the day. If your teen's grades suddenly drop and you notice he's hanging out with a different crowd, confront him with your suspicions. If you find evidence of drinking, such as empty beer cans in the trash or a reduction in your stash of alcohol at home, it's possible that your teen is drinking. In addition, if you notice your teen is suddenly using too much perfume or chewing on breath mints, it could indicate that he wants to cover up the smell of alcohol.
Teenagers who drink are often secretive about their whereabouts since they suspect you won't approve. They often deny that they were drinking, even if it's obvious, and they come up with creative excuses for their absences. Furthermore, drinking alcohol is an expensive habit. As a result, teenage drinkers often ask their parents for money or stoop to stealing household funds in order to purchase alcohol.