The teenage years are full of hormonal changes, desire to fit in, and peer pressures. This is a common period in which one gets invited to participate in risky behaviors such as consuming alcohol. Help for teen alcohol use can begin at home. However, the first step of helping is acknowledging that there is a problem.
Why Are Teens Drinking?
The reasons for which teens may participate in underage drinking have a wide range. Some possible reasons why teens experiment with alcohol could include:
- Teens may see others such as family or friends drinking and feel compelled to do the same.
- They may perceive experimenting with alcohol as a way to “have fun”.
- Drinking alcohol may be an outlet for them to cope with their problems
- Desire to fit in or peer pressure is a common reason why teens may experiment with alcohol use.
- Teens could start experimenting with alcohol as a result of curiosity or boredom
This is not an extensive list of reasons why a teen may begin to experiment with alcohol, but it is a good start to understanding the why behind a young person’s actions. It is important to consider that teens are vulnerable and may be unaware of the long-term consequences of their actions.
What You Should Do
If you suspect that your teen is experimenting with alcohol, you should not ignore your suspicions. Address the issue immediately so you can help get your teen on track to making healthier decisions. Here are some ways you can take action to help your teen with alcohol use:
- Get talking. Start a conversation with your teen in an unaccusatory tone. Educate them on the effects of alcohol use at a young age. The best way to get involved with prevention is to engage with your teen. Open lines of communication with them.
- Plan ahead. You should create a plan with your teen to avoid or get out of risky situations. Educate them on different ways to say no and how to handle peer pressure. It is important that they feel empowered to say no even to those whom they consider close friends.
- Encourage healthy alternatives. For teens who may think alcohol use is the way to have fun, help them learn or adopt other hobbies or activities that bring them joy. Sports, clubs, volunteering, and art are all great things to plug into that offer lots of fun.
Trails Carolina can help
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program that helps teens ages 10-17 who are struggling with behavioral and emotional issues. This program uses adventure-based therapy to help students gain a new sense of self-awareness, confidence, and independence. The skills they learn throughout the wilderness program offer long-term benefits towards their ability to successfully self-navigate in the real world. By removing teens from their fast-paced environment into a safe, nurturing, and peaceful environment, they are able to focus on improving and reflecting upon their behavior. Trails Carolina gives students the tools they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 800-975-7303.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Graham Shannonhouse has been actively involved in the wilderness therapy field for nearly three decades. After receiving her degree in 1991, Shannonhouse spent 10 years working with a premiere wilderness-based therapeutic program in south-central Idaho. During her tenure, she served three years as a hands-on Field Instructor, three years as Field Supervisor, and the remaining time as Wilderness Program Director. During this period she developed, managed, and served as counselor for the country’s first wilderness program specifically focused on pre- teens ages 10 to 13
Graham returned to the east in 2002 to serve as Executive Director for a therapeutic wilderness program based in North Carolina, successfully growing it to one of the most respected companies in the industry. In 2008, she resigned her position to open Trails Carolina. Having an intimate working knowledge of the roots of wilderness therapy, Graham has brought her experience and wisdom to her position as Partner and Executive Director with the goal of integrating the true family work that must be done to insure lasting success.