Though it may seem like a joke, a movie ploy or an outdated practice, random strangers purchasing alcohol for teenagers is not a rare event. In fact, undercover cops regularly bust adults who give into the pleas of teens who beg strangers to buy beer for them. In doing this, the hope is that the practice will stop but at the very least, these arrests serve as a wakeup call to parents: someone may be buying your son alcohol.
Sources for Teen Alcohol
In addition to the occasional passerby who agrees to purchase an alcoholic beverage for your child, there are a number of different ways that your son can get alcohol. These include:
- You. Do you have liquor in a cabinet, cases of beer in the garage, or a bottle of wine in the refrigerator? Most people have some type of alcohol somewhere in the house. If you are included in that number, your teen may occasionally get alcohol from you.
- A family member. An older sibling, an aunt or uncle, or another family member may be the source of alcohol for your teen.
- Friends. Teens tend to share their drug and alcohol finds with friends, so even if you keep things locked up tight at home, your son’s friends’ parents may not have as tight a grip on the alcohol at their house.
- Parties. High school parties often include alcohol – and other drugs – brought by attendees. Even if your son’s friends don’t drink, he may come across alcohol at a party or social event with a large group of friends.
- Other social events. Parties you hold at your house, family reunions, or church events – alcohol can show up in the most unexpected places and fall into your son’s hands.
Your Son and Alcohol
Some parents believe that if their child is drinking at their house then it’s safer than if he were to drink away from home. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Permissive parenting may not stop a child from drinking when in a dangerous situation away from Mom and Dad, especially if he has been raised to believe that the dangers of alcohol use are manageable.
The fact is that drinking at all during the developmental teen years is not a good choice for a number of reasons. In the United States, it’s illegal as well. Help your son to avoid the pitfalls of drinking by enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol.
If you find that he’s drinking despite your best efforts, contact us at Muir Wood and learn more about the rehabilitation and treatment options we offer and how we can help your son stop abusing alcohol and other drugs today.