For years, the surgeon general has been advising parents to do a number of different things to help their teens when underage alcohol abuse becomes an issue. Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) are backing up these recommendations with the results of a study that they recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Increasing Community Support Against Underage Drinking
Kenneth R. Warren, PhD, is the NIAAA Acting Director. He says, “The downward trend in underage drinking and alcohol-related traffic deaths indicates that certain policies and programs put in place at the federal, state, and local levels have had an impact.”
Rates of underage drinking and underage drunk driving accidents declined significantly between 2007 and 2013, according to the National Institutes of Health. Among the changes that may have contributed to that decrease include:
- Nighttime driving restrictions for teens
- License suspension for alcohol violations for teens
- Graduated driving licensing laws for teens
- Community-level interventions like changes to alcohol marketing, pricing of alcoholic beverages, and more
Surgeon General Recommendations for Kids Who Are Drinking
The surgeon general regularly publishes calls to action on a number of different topics and underage drinking is one of them. For parents who are concerned that their teen is drinking, the surgeon general recommends the following:
- Be supportive of teens at home.
- Give them space to grow but also put boundaries and limitations in place to protect them.
- Involve teens with the family in activities around the house and fun activities as well.
- Talk to your child about alcohol use and abuse.
- Do not give any alcoholic beverages to your child.
- Don’t allow your child to go to parties or the homes of friends where alcohol will be present.
- Enforce rules around alcohol when they are broken.
- If your teen is drinking and cannot or will not stop, get them help.
Teen-Specific Alcohol Abuse Treatment
If your son is drinking, the best way to help him stop is to enroll him in a treatment program that is designed specifically to help him overcome the obstacles that he faces in his life. As a teenager, that will be significantly different than the adult alcohol abuser, thus treatment for your son should be unique and created just for teens.
At Muir Wood, we tailored our program specifically for teen boys. We offer neuropsych testing and experiential therapies like trek programs while focusing on life skills training as well as emotional development in addition to the alcohol abuse issue. Contact us at the phone number above now for more information.