Underage drinking is more common than parents, teachers and coaches would like to admit. A 2019 survey showed that nearly 30% of teens drank alcohol in the last 30 days, and 14% reported binge drinking. It’s likely that someone around you—and perhaps even your teen—is or has been drinking.
So how can you know if your child is using alcohol, especially if he or she is an athlete? If your teen is feeling the pressure to perform on the court (or in the classroom), they may be more at risk to turn to alcohol to deal with it. These pressures lead to stress, which in turn puts teen athletes at risk for substance use issues.
Some of the warning signs to look for include:
If you suspect that your teen athlete is experiencing stress and has turned to alcohol to deal with the demands of sports, there are a few steps you can take, including:
It’s not uncommon for parents to be shocked when they find out their child has been drinking. The important thing to remember is that you can affect change and get your child the help they need, While your teen won’t fully understand the risks involved with underage drinking, there’s much you can do as a parent to guide your child in the right direction.
If you need help identifying an at-risk situation or would like to talk to a professional, contact the Ashland County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse or learn more.