It’s normal for a teenager to experiment with alcohol or drugs, but some teens will develop a serious addiction. The legality of alcohol — despite its age restrictions — makes it seem like a safe drug to experiment with. This makes it the most common drug that American teens use, according to MedicineNet.com.
The family environment plays a big role in teenage alcoholism. Teens who see their parents drink often, who have easy access to the alcohol in the home or who have little supervision may be more likely to become alcoholics. Parents are acting as role models for their children and if the parent is an alcoholic, the child may become an alcoholic as well.
Though alcohol is actually a depressant, you can also experience moments of happiness. If your teen is depressed, she may be more likely to become addicted to alcohol, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Teens who suffer physical, emotional or sexual abuse may be more likely to turn to alcohol as a way to escape their pain. The more often the abuse happens, the more often they’ll turn to alcohol. Over time, this can lead to an addiction.
Teens face an enormous amount of peer pressure on a daily basis. Some of this comes in the form of pressure to drink or do drugs. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry states that alcoholism is more likely to occur in teens who feel as though they are outside of the mainstream, but it can happen in the “popular” crowds as well.
There may be a genetic link to alcoholism, according to a Cardiff University study published in March 2007 edition of the journal “Addiction.” If you or your spouse is an alcoholic — even if you haven’t touched a drink in years — your child may be at a greater risk for developing alcoholism.