Signs of Underage Alcohol Use

| December 8, 2013

Warning signs can help you spot an alcohol problem, especially if the behavior occurs suddenly or seems extreme. Concern should be even greater if several warning signs occur at the same time. If you have concerns, get help.

Behavioral Changes

  • School problems, poor attendance, low grades, and/or recent disciplinary action
  • Rebelling against family rules
  • Switching friends, along with a reluctance to let you get to know the new friends
  • Sloppy appearance
  • A lack of involvement in former interests

Emotional Changes

  • Mood changes, flare-ups, irritability, and defensiveness
  • A “nothing matters” attitude

Mental Changes

  • Memory lapses
  • Poor concentration

Physical Changes

  • Low energy
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech
The information on this page is adapted from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration, “Too Smart to Start.”

Category: Alcohol

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