Is stress causing young people to drink excessively?
How would you cope if your son or daughter started to hit the bottle?
Following the story being aired on Eastenders where Lauren, after splitting with her boyfriend, hits the bottle big time and now, just like her aunt, is well on her way to alcohol dependency.
What could someone with so much to live for start drinking to such excess?
It can be difficult to spot the time where social drinking crosses the line to problem drinking. If alcohol is being used to cope with problems then this could potentially be dangerous territory.
It is fairly commonplace that young men and women overindulge when they get together at the weekend and head off to a nightclub; fortunately that’s usually where it stops.
For some their problems and stresses become too much and they take alcohol to help manage these problems – unfortunately alcohol addiction then becomes the problem.
How do you spot it before it gets out of hand? There are a few telltale signs that your teen could be alcohol dependent.
One of the earliest signs is that they often drink to excess, others include blacking out and personality changes where they consistently become violent or angry leading them to storm off in search of yet another drink or stealing money to fund their habit.
Continuing to drink after it has caused them to miss work. Drink driving and getting into trouble with the police can highlight their alcohol problem.
Lying about their drinking habits – often hiding empty bottles in their bedroom or neighbours bins, so you are led to believe that they have ‘seen sense’ and stopped drinking to excess.
It’s not always easy to work out where the line is between social drinking and problem drinking
If someone you love has a drinking problem you may find yourself struggling with feelings of self –blame, anger and shame. Many find it so difficult to cope with that initially they brush it under the carpet and pretend that nothing is wrong. In the long run it has to be faced head on so that the person with the drinking habit can get help.
The problem must be treated head on and punishing, bribing or appealing to them will not change their behaviour.
Take the first step by visiting your family doctor who should be able to put you on the right path towards help and may also offer counselling and should be able to give you local support group information.
If you are concerned that a member of your family is drinking excessively you can get more helpful information from Drinkline the national alcohol helpline. You can call this free helpline, in complete confidence on 0800 917 8282