The Hidden Signs of Teenage Alcoholism

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According to recent reports, teenage drinking rates hit record lows over the last few years. While the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the teenage population in many other ways, it seems to have reduced the total number of teens drinking dramatically.

But that doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t be at least a little concerned about teenage alcoholism. There are still lots of addicted teens out there who have developed an alcohol use disorder.

Do you suspect your teenager might possibly be drinking or, worse, drinking to a dangerous degree? If so, you should keep your eyes peeled for any potential signs of addiction to alcohol and consider helping them check into a teenage rehab center so that they can get the addiction help they need.

We’ve created a list of some of the most common signs of teenage alcoholism. Check them out below and look out for them as best you can.

Bloodshot Eyes

If you’ve noticed that your teenager’s eyes always appear to be bloodshot these days, you might not automatically associate this with teenage alcoholism. Most people know about the connection between smoking marijuana and bloodshot eyes, so you might be under the impression that this is what your teenager is doing.

But it’s worth noting that bloodshot eyes can also be the result of teenage alcoholism. If your teen is drinking all the time, it’s going to take a toll on their sleep cycle, and it could result in them having bloodshot eyes more often than not.

You shouldn’t be afraid to subtly bring up the fact that you’ve noticed your teen’s bloodshot eyes. They might be able to provide a justifiable reason for it, or they might confirm your suspicions even if they don’t come right out and admit to abusing alcohol.


Is your teenager spending the bulk of their time in bed these days? Believe it or not, it isn’t that uncommon for teens to lie in bed for long stretches of time.

Teenagers’ bodies and minds are going through a lot of changes, and because of this, they often feel very fatigued and will spend their fair share of time sleeping. It’s perfectly normal for your teen to be tired and to sleep a lot.

But you should pay close attention to when your teen is sleeping and how they’re behaving when they wake up. If they’re addicted to alcohol, it could leave them looking and feeling groggy all the time, especially in the morning.

You should monitor your teenager’s sleep schedule to see if you notice anything suspicious going on. You might be able to pick up clues that’ll suggest your teen is struggling with alcohol use disorder and needs addiction treatment ASAP.

Lack of Grooming

Some teenagers won’t put a whole lot of thought into their grooming habits in general even when they aren’t drinking on a regular basis. They might go to school without combing their hair or wear the same hoodie every day for a week if you don’t stop them from doing it.

You don’t necessarily need to be too alarmed if your teen isn’t grooming themselves like you think they should. But it should raise a red flag if your teen goes from caring about their appearance and always trying to look their best to suddenly not caring what they look like at all.

Initially, you might want to encourage your teen to start showering more and to take more pride in their appearance. But if that doesn’t work, you might need to sit down with them and have a more serious discussion about what’s going on with them.

Mood Swings

If you’re the parent of a teenager, you probably don’t need us to tell you that teens can be very moody at times. It isn’t all that out of the ordinary for a teen to suddenly be in a bad mood out of nowhere and for no real reason. Researchers believe it’s because of all the hormonal changes that are going on in their bodies.

If your teenager is moody every so often, you don’t need to jump to any conclusions and suspect teenage alcoholism. But if you find that your teenager is moodier than you’re used to, that could be an indication that you may want to have a conversation with them.

When teenagers are battling teenage alcoholism, they’re going to experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows on a daily basis. This might lead to them lashing out at you one minute and then being in the best mood ever half an hour later. Don’t be shy about confronting a teenager about their mood swings if you sense they’re getting out of control.

School Absenteeism

Are you constantly getting calls from your teenager’s school to let you know that your child didn’t show up for some or all of their classes? This is going to be a pretty clear-cut sign that there is something going on with them.

In some cases, your teenager might be skipping school just to do it. That obviously doesn’t make it right, but their skipping school may not reveal that they’re drinking too much alcohol.

In other instances, your teenager might be skipping school because they’re always trying to nurse themselves back to health after nights of drinking. If this is the case, you’ll want to talk to them about this sooner rather than later since skipping school is going to have a big impact on their immediate future.

Your teenager may be able to benefit from the unique therapy options that teenage rehab centers have to offer.

Poor Grades

As you can imagine, your teenager’s brain isn’t going to be firing on all cylinders if they’re fighting teenage alcoholism. They’re also not going to be super motivated when it comes to studying and taking advantage of any extra credit opportunities that might come their way.

Because of these things, you may find that your teen’s grades will start to slip. They’ll begin getting bad grades across the board and won’t be able to explain why to you.

Just like with absenteeism, this is another thing that can affect their immediate future in a huge way. If they aren’t able to turn things around in school, it could limit their chances of getting a higher education and leave their post-high school plans in jeopardy.

Loss of Interest in Extracurricular Activities

Of all the signs of teenage alcoholism on this list, this one might actually be the most obvious sign that your teen is indulging in something they shouldn’t be. If you notice they aren’t taking part in sports or any other extracurricular activities like they used to, there is likely a good reason for it, and it may not be the reason you want to hear.

You should check in with your child if you hear that they’ve given up their favorite sport or stopped attending a club they used to enjoy a lot. It’ll be important for you to get to the bottom of this right away just in case they are doing battle with teenage alcoholism.

There are programs available at teenage rehab centers that might be effective when it comes to treating your teen.

Changing Friendships

Has your teenager cut ties with some or even all of their old friends and started hanging out with a new crowd? This might not be a huge cause for concern at the beginning.

There is a chance that your teen might just be exploring new interests. But there is also a chance that those “new interests” may be either alcohol or even drugs.

You’ll want to tread lightly when you ask your teenager about the new friends they’re hanging out with all the time. They might get defensive if you don’t phrase it in the right way. It might even push them to want to spend more time with these friends than they already do.

But you shouldn’t sit by idly and allow your teenager to get with a brand-new friend group without at least asking about what’s going on. You have a right to know who your teen is palling around with day in and day out.

Lack of Self-Esteem

Sadly, many teenagers suffer from low self-esteem for a number of different reasons. Self-esteem issues are actually what will sometimes lead teenagers to drink in the first place.

But low self-esteem can also be caused by teenage alcoholism at times. If your teenager is spending a lot of their time drinking and not taking part in school or extracurricular activities, there won’t be many things in life that’ll give them the self-esteem boost they need.

You should always try to do your part to give your teenager’s self-esteem a boost as best you can. That might mean complimenting them on an outfit they’re wearing or telling them that they did a fantastic job on a school project.

You should also attempt to get a sense of where your teen’s self-esteem stands and speak with them if you feel like it’s starting to disappear right before your eyes. It’ll give you some much-needed insight into how your teen is feeling about themselves and what could be causing self-esteem issues.

Increased Isolation

It isn’t exactly a secret that teenagers like to spend a ton of time in isolation when they’re at home. You can usually find them hanging out in their rooms by themselves with their doors closed.

If your teenager is like this, it shouldn’t be something that keeps you up at night. But you might want to raise an eyebrow if your teen goes from hanging out with the family in other parts of the home routinely to setting up shop in their room 24/7/365.

A teenager who doesn’t want to interact with anyone else could be battling teenage alcoholism or another substance abuse issue. You should try to motivate your teen to come out of their room a little more, and if they refuse, you should look into why they’re spending so much of their time in there.


As a parent, you’re going to want to ask your teenager about what they’re doing, who they’re hanging out with, etc. almost every day. Even if you don’t suspect teenage alcoholism, you should poke and prod to get information on how your teenager is spending their time.

While you’re doing this, you should keep an eye out for any inconsistencies in the stories they’re telling you. For example, if they tell you they were at school all day but the school called and said they weren’t there, this might mean your child is lying to you.

Lying is one of the worst things that a teenager can do when they’re in the thick of teenage alcoholism. It’ll create trust issues between you and them, and it’ll also make you feel like you don’t know them anymore.

You’ll want to be careful about coming right out and confronting them about any lies that you think they’ve told. But you should do it at some point so that you’re able to push them to start telling you the truth about what’s going on with them.

By doing this, you might eventually be able to get the answers that you’re looking for from your teen. You might also be able to get them the addiction treatment they need at this time.

Contact Us to Get Help With Teenage Alcoholism

No parent wants to believe that their teenager is drinking, let alone drinking to excess. But there are some teens who, for one reason or another, will get addicted to alcohol at a young age.

If you have an inclination that your teen might be struggling with teenage alcoholism, you should set out to get them the help they need. Eagle Overlook Recovery can provide you with a great option when you’re in the market for a teenage rehab facility.

Touch base with us today to hear about how we can assist you and your teen with teenage alcoholism.