There is no teenager in the United Kingdom that would like to enter one of the alcohol rehab centres in the future. In general, alcohol use behaviour and habits during teenage years rarely lead to serious alcohol problems in adult life. But at the same time, this should not mean it is not possible to develop seriously detrimental drinking habits as a young adult or to negatively affect your later life to follow.

Teenagers and parents alike should be realistic. It’s more than likely that alcohol will play a role in the big majority of teenage lives, but the fact is that this does not mean it has to necessarily be a terrifying or taboo subject. To the contrary in fact, as the more parents learn about alcohol use in general, the more likely they are to make sensible and informed decisions.

So with this in mind, here is a short overview of a few useful tips and guidelines for preventing alcohol problems as a teenager:

  1. First of all, it would seem there are instances in which it is fundamentally impossible to just say no, but this is in fact incredibly easy to do. The simple reason is that while you might expect a negative reaction and naturally assume you will not fit in if you refuse a drink, it’s extremely likely this won’t be the case at all. The truth is, there are probably many others within your friends who would also be happy to skip alcohol – they simply haven’t yet mustered the courage to do so.
  2. It is also very important to be as open and honest as possible with your friends, in order not to give them false expectations. For example, if you simply don’t like drinking alcohol at the pace your friends do, it is simply better to tell them rather than pretend you are just like them. The same is also true for the activities they choose and any recreational drugs they might bring into the equation. It is important to be yourself, be as open and honest as possible and never do unwise things just for the sake of fitting in.
  3. Contrary to what you might expect, often the best people in the world you can ever speak to about alcohol use are your parents. Nobody in the world will ever have your best interests at heart quite like them and when it comes to building real respect and trust, being open and honest on a subject like this has the potential to work wonders. You will always be able to rely on your parents to guide you and tell you what is best for you – the same cannot always be said about your friends.
  4. When you are a teenager, citing boredom as an excuse for drinking alcohol just doesn’t cut it. From arts to part-time jobs, music to sports and so on, there are many things you could be involved in that don’t revolve around alcohol. Anything active that you participate in will one day look great on your CV, while keeping you out of trouble at the same time.
  5. If your parents and you are as lenient as possible when it comes to house rules, the best way of dealing with that is to follow the rules to the letter. Nobody wins if you break them and disrespect your parents and in turn they become even stricter and harsher with you.
  6. It could be difficult to believe, but it is quite likely many things you have heard about alcohol and drugs online and from your friends is 100% misleading and inaccurate. Making the right decision for yourself will be only ever possible if you are educated on the subject in question. This is precisely why it could be quite beneficial to read about alcohol in general, in order to be aware of what exactly it is you deal with.
  7. Instead of simply following the trend and becoming one of the herd, why not set an example for your friends and become their role model? This could sound like you will need to go entirely against the current, but eventually the time will come when you will be seen as an inspiring and outstanding leader that makes their own decisions.
  8. Last but not least, if you are aware that you or anyone else has a true problem with alcohol use, it’s your responsibility to speak out. By keeping it a secret you are not protecting anyone – nor are you doing yourself any good if you believe your drinking habits are getting out of hand. Nowadays there are so many avenues to explore when you need help – from your family to professional counselors – don’t hesitate to turn to them when necessary.