Teenage Alcohol Misuse
Alcohol has long been seen as the acceptable drug of choice for most people. It is something which is viewed as being sociable and fun and for the majority this is how it remains.
However, for some it can become something else entirely and starts to turn into a problem.
As alcohol is so freely available and present in many lives, it can be difficult to avoid, making escaping it seem like an uphill struggle for those who misuse it or are addicted to it.
Alcohol Problems in Young People
For young people, it can be a particularly difficult problem. For some, alcohol is seen as a rite of passage and it is a large part of youth culture. It may be easy to overlook an abuse of alcohol as something which is seen as exuberant partying. It is therefore important to recognise the signs of alcohol misuse or addiction and encourage your loved one to access help for it at the right time.
Causes of Alcohol Misuse and Addiction
Alcoholism affects many millions of people around the world, and contrary to popular opinion, it is a disease of the brain and has nothing to do with willpower, morality or personality. For many people, it is not clear to them that they have developed a dependence on alcohol and may be something that is more obvious to those around them than it is to themselves.
Alcohol misuse can take different forms, but it usually involves the sufferer drinking for longer than they want or drinking more than they want. It can also be observed by alcoholic drinking behaviours. This may mean excessive weekend drinking or binge drinking which all classifies as drinking alcoholically.
The Need to Escape
Misuse can occur because of the addictive properties of alcohol, but often it is caused by an attempt to escape something in life that has not been addressed. Someone using alcohol in this way may be aiming to experience the highs, or conversely, the numbness that it can offer.
The need to drink is also brought about by an avoidance of withdrawal symptoms. If a sufferer reaches the point where they experience these after periods of not drinking, they may begin drinking again in order to prevent them, creating a cycle of behaviour that feels impossible to break.
You may also start to notice a lack of motivation and a difficulty in concentrating in different areas of life such as schoolwork, sporting activities or hobbies, and this can in turn lead to feelings of guilt or failure. There can also be significant changes to sleep patterns or appetite, and an abuse of drugs or alcohol is sometimes used as a form of self-medication.
Family stress is thought to be one of the most common reasons for alcohol misuse in young people, which is why we make sure that we offer family therapy to help everyone involved get to the bottom of the problem.
Symptoms of Alcohol Misuse or Addiction
It can be tricky to know how to tell the difference between someone who drinks frequently and someone who is misusing alcohol. The key is the strong and uncontrollable desire for it particularly as their body becomes accustomed to the effects. This tolerance makes it harder to reach the high that alcohol produces, and so the user needs to drink even more to reach this point.
Whilst the teenage years are for having fun, you may begin to notice that your teen seems to prioritise drinking above everything else, including family, friends, school or work. They can lose interest in hobbies and social activities that do not involve drinking and could possibly find themselves in trouble with the police. It can also lead to uncharacteristic risky behaviour.
Someone who is misusing alcohol can often seem to function as normal at points, but might suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they have to go without alcohol for a long period of time, such as:
How can Archangel Help?
At Archangel, we understand that there is often a source of pain or depression behind the need to drink especially with young adults and teenagers. At our residential treatment centre, we help to address these problems in a safe environment where the sufferer can speak openly. By tackling the underlying problem, we have a greater chance of success in treating the need for alcohol.
Finding the Cause of the Problem
Our residential programme allows your loved ones to tackle their situation in a safe and comfortable way. We will use therapy to find the root causes and work through them in one-to-one sessions and as part of a family group. This allows you to all understand where their problems lie and how you can support your loved one once they return home.
By offering a residential form of therapy, we can provide your teenager with the chance to distance themselves from any triggers or temptations that might be adding to their problems and supply a stable and constant level of care for them.
How it Works
We know how precious your loved one is to you, and that is why we ensure they are in safe hands at Archangel.
In our initial telephone consultation, we will talk to you about the situation and what we can do to help. This will allow us to put together a bespoke treatment plan that has been designed to tackle your teenager’s specific needs.
We do not offer detox services nor will be able to admit a young person who is presenting as physically or psychologically addicted. We also won't be able to help if we feel like a potential resident will experience any withdrawal symptoms whilst in our care. We believe that most young people don't fall into this category and their use is related to underlying issues of self-worth and the ability to self-esteem. It is this fundamental issue that we will employ our team to tackle, by combining therapy with activities such as yoga and exercise, which will help teenagers learn how to love and care for themselves.
We will invite you to come along to our residential treatment centre where we offer different types of treatment that not only include forms of counselling but also life skills, exercise and meditation to allow the patient to find a new focus and learn different ways of coping.
We provide a caring approach to our treatment, and we continue to offer care to the whole family even after you have left our house as you begin to navigate your new beginnings.