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How to Approach the Topic of Teen Drinking and Peer Pressure

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In a perfect world, you would be able to protect your child from every potential danger in life and be there on standby to offer advice whenever needed. In reality, you raise your child as well as you can and, as they grow more independent, you hope that you’ve taught them what they need to know. You may not see every situation they will face, but you know that their friends will have a growing influence as they grow. 

The teenage years can be very challenging, both for your teen and for you as a parent. You want to give them the freedom to begin to morph into the young adults they need to be, but you also want to maintain their safety. Talking to them about teen drinking and peer pressure is one way to accomplish both at once. At Thrive Treatment, we understand how difficult it can be to find your footing when talking to your teen about drinking. We are here to support both of you. 

Teen Drinking Statistics

The good news is that teens drink less often than adults. In fact, In 2019, less than twenty-five percent of fourteen and fifteen-year-olds admitted to having had a drink in the previous month. The bad news is that when they do drink, they tend to binge drink.  More than 90 percent of alcoholic beverages consumed by people ages twelve to twenty are consumed through binge drinking. 

Binge drinking is consuming more than four drinks for females or more than five drinks for males in two hours or less. In 2019, more than four million people ages twelve to twenty reported binge drinking in the last month, and nearly one million admitted to binge drinking more than four days in the previous month. Teenage binge drinking and peer pressure go hand in hand. What may start as experimentation with one drink can quickly lead to binge drinking and other risky behaviors. 

Tips on How to Approach the Topic of Teen Drinking and Peer Pressure

When talking to your teen about hot topics like teen drinking and peer pressure, you’ll want to understand that no conversation will look like the picture-perfect ones portrayed on television shows. Still, there are some steps that you can take that may help the conversation go as well as possible. Start by reminding your teen that you love them and are always on their side, no matter what happens. Explain that you know that they are growing up and that you trust them to make good decisions even when you are not right at their side. 

If you are comfortable doing so, use all or some of your own experiences from your teenage years. Perhaps your parents never spoke to you about things like alcohol, drugs, or sex, and you wish they had. Tell them the facts. Teenage drinking is risky. Drinking impairs judgment, increases the risk for severe injury or death, impairs brain development, and increases the risk of being assaulted. If you or someone in your family has a history of addiction or alcoholism, you may want to share the lessons you’ve learned from those experiences. While it may be uncomfortable to admit the mistakes of your past to your child, your honest and open sharing may be just what helps them as they navigate the perils of teen drinking and peer pressure. Whatever you choose to share, try to help them see that you are sharing information for their benefit and that your ultimate goal is to start a continuing conversation. 

How Thrive Treatment Can Help Your Teen

At Thrive Treatment, our treatment approach blends modern and traditional practices. We can help your teen by integrating relational and behavioral therapies and holistic, medical, and psychiatric interventions. Located in beautiful Santa Monica, we will develop an individualized plan to help your teen through any mental health disorders, including addiction, during inpatient treatment and beyond. We’re also here to support you in understanding the treatment and your role in the process as you help your teen. Contact us today so that we can partner with you and your teen to find a way forward. 

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