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Readers Respond: Caught Your Teen Drinking Alcohol? What Did You Do?

Responses: 17


Teens have been known to experiment with drinking alcohol. Some go a step further and need help to keep their drinking from becoming an addiction. Here are stories from parents of teen about finding out their teen was drinking alcohol. Did they remain calm or lose it? What discipline did they use? How did they determine if their teen was just experimenting and being social or if their teen had a real problem with alcohol? Read on to find out and please share your story.

Took her to Barnes and Noble to talk

I'm blessed that my girls are best friends cuz my 16 yr old Ki confided to her 14 yr old sis Cait that she'd had six shots of vodka at a friend Ash's house. Cait told me about it cuz she knew it affected Ki's safety. I took Ki to B&N to talk about it cuz she was comfortable there and I didn't want her to feel attacked. We talked about much of the same things that are in the other posts. I also told her there is a history of alcoholism in our family and shared stories. It had quite an impact on her. She explained to me they researched the safe amount to drink in a given amt of time so they wouldn't get sick; and had Ash's older sister there so they weren't alone. I brought it up to her dr at her ck up. He shared serious medical things that can happen. Told us that it is the age that kids experiment like this, but also warned Ki not to do it again. I think if I had not kept cool about everything, Ki would not have told me without me asking her that she liked it and how it made her feel
—Guest Tracy S.

Caught My 15-Year-Old in Drunkin State

My daughter has shown an unusual interest in alcohol, the flavors etc. for the past couple of weeks. So needless to say, she has good grades, great friends and is a serious athlete who prior to last weekend was "straight edge" as she would call it. But I knew she was getting curious and she tried drinking. She drank after practice, called and asked to go to movie but I quickly found out that she stood other friends up so my gut told me something wasn't right. I went to theater, she wasn't there. I caught her and when I contacted her she knew it. She was 2 blocks away and came home. As soon as she slurred one word, I knew she was wasted. When I accused her, she broke down and cried. She threw up, felt terrible that night and the next day. She said she hated feeling that way said she was so sorry, she was embarrassed felt she has no control of herself and would never drink again.
—Guest Breann

I drank heavily as a teen

When I was in high school, I often drank at night, and in the morning before going to school. My parents found out that I was drinking and instead of asking me what was wrong, or trying to get me help, or recommending I talk to someone, they told me things like "alcohol is affecting your brain development", and "alcohol is expensive" and "alcohol makes you gain weight." I didn't care about those things. But they never took proactive steps like the parents I see here. They didn't seem to care, they just yelled at me. I graduated on the honour roll, but even though I was a high achiever I was mentally still a mess. My drinking continued into university. For five more years I continued to drink until I went to a psychiatric hospital who suggested that I might have a problem with drinking and recommended detox treatment. After realizing that I truly was an alcoholic, I later went to rehab, then continued to attend 12 step meetings. Since then, I have been sober for several years.
—Guest Alexis

Lost trust

This Past weekend my friend and I went to her cottage with her parents and other family members. One of the nights we decided to drink and we did a lot. We were supervised by her 21 and 23 year old cousins. I got so drunk I needed to be carried in the cottage. I puked all over the bathroom the next morning get mom found out and was very disappointed. I am going to tell my parents later tonight.
—Guest Embarressed teen

What my parents did

I'm a 15 year old teen and a male. One night I went to a party with my older friend. I was the youngest at the party and I caved I to peer pressure and drank. I had drank a bit before but I had never been drunk. I drank 6 beers and then cabbed home. My mom caught me drunk and we had a talk. She did not over react not did my dad and they explained the dangers of drinking. I feel if they were harsher they would not have gotten through to me and I'm thankfully they weren't because when my friends drink now I know to say no and I know not to make decisions based off of peer pressure.
—Guest 15year old

Here is something to consider

In many parts of Europe where the drinking ages are very low, teens often drink casually. In the United States and Canada where the drinking ages are relatively higher, teens binge drink when opportunity strikes.
—Guest Steve

If you....

Just saying no, often is not enough. A better message I feel is; If you do not start, you do not have to stop. Thanks, a Mother of 2- - and Grandmother of 3. V. Osborn
—Guest V. Osborn

Consequences of Lying/Alcohol Abuse

My 16 yr old girl came home from a sleepover acting weirdly, her hair partially wet. Explanations were not believable, and when I asked for her laundry, she produced from a black garbage bag, clothing rolled up. I went into the bag and discovered her jacket covered in vomit. From then on, it was one lie after another, and I wasn't getting the truth. I hopped in my car and visited the friends, and the parents of said friends, she had been hanging out with and the the story that there were 4 of them drinking vodka. The parents were shocked and my daughter humiliated by my actions. She now knows that I will not stop at anything to protect her and that includes getting her friends in trouble as well. I think the problem is managed. We'll see. Her freedom to "text" us with plans is over and she will have to provide specific whereabouts of where she is going and what she is doing. I will closely monitor the presence of parental supervision from here on out.
—Guest JoycieB

Make them see it with sober eyes

My 15 year old came home drunk. I grabbed the video recorder and woke up younger siblings. My younger son was shocked to see his big brother in this state. I recorded my drunk son attempting to complete simple motor skills and speech patterns and asked him a series of questions on how he felt. He eventually broke down, sobbing at which point I ceased recording. After a good puke and several hours of sleep I showed him the video tape. He was beside himself. He didn't remember 90 percent of what was filmed and was very embarrassed seeing himself in this terrible situation, and the fact that his younger brother was there to see it. Now, 5 years later, my 15 year old is 20 and I sometimes suspect that he may be drinking here and there, however, very sparingly and his younger brother. . . has never touched a drop and swears he never will. A very similar event happened 30 years ago with me and my older brother and I have been sober my whole life.

Explain the Science

Alcohol can damage teen's bodies and memories so when I suspected a friend's daughter was drinking (which she was) I explained the science. The teenage brain which is not done developing yet can be more affected by alcohol than an adult's. As she dressed for her prom I asked her if she wanted to remember her special day. When she said yes, I explained that alcohol can hurt her ability to remember what happened. I don't know if she drank at the prom, but I do know that she drank less than she intended too.
—Guest Aimee Stern

Got Caught Drinking, What my Father Did

I got good and hiked once at 18, my father didn't overreact. I wasn't meaning to, but drank on an empty stomach with liquor that was masked by fruit punch. A couple of days later my father sat down with me and had a kind talk about the dangers of drinking too much and what can happen. That did more for me than any scolding or punishment. It reached my heart, and my attitude towards drinking was different after that talk. For many teens, it is probably the best approach. It kept the lines of communication open because he didn't overreact.
—Guest John Scott

Never know how you will handle....

Our teen was 12 when we caught her attempting to pour wine into a thermos to take to school. We talked and cried until 2 am. I took her into school and made her tell her drama teacher what she did and why she would not be able to perform in the school play that night. She spoke to the school dean as well, and handed in her peer counseling badge. That evening she had to call her vocal coach to let her know she would be unable to perform in her recital. Aside from missing out on her performances we had her confess to those she respected. We also found local AA meetings which we took her to, a few young recovering alcoholics/drug users talked to her. She is and always has been an exceptional young lady. Here we are 2 years later and she was accepted into a performing arts academy high school with honors.
—Guest -Tina

Addiction is a Possibility

Since its a period of exploring, experimenting and adventure, constant supervision is required. Limitation should be set.

Freaked out

Last year, before she started grade 9, our daughter decided to have a little get together at the park across the street. She got high and drunk. We took away her electronics. She lost a lot of trust that day and it took a long time to regain it. She went through a period of being suicidal too, I cured that by calling 911 and having her handcuffed and taken to the emergency department for 3 hours. Today she is in Europe on a 5 week tour headed to World's Canoe Polo competition on the Canadian National U21 womens team. Huge change a year has made. Tough love meant she knew exactly where we stood, and it was always on her side, but not allowing her to harm herself anymore.
—Guest Joanna

Talked with Son

He was drinking secretly after it was discovered that he is drinking alcohol. We were calm and talked with him, narrating the problems that he will face in the future if he continued with that habit, which we described as bad for a growing young boy. Thank God he abandoned alcohol drinking!
—Guest fred

Be the Parent

We had a long road in front of us when we caught our son drinking. He refused to think that it was 'any big deal' and wanted us to 'get off his back'. I really think that if my wife and I hadn’t come down strong, he’d be out of control today. So, don’t get caught up in the "everyone’s doing it" and "a beer is not that bad" crap. Be the parent and stick to your values. Your teen will be glad you did.
—Guest Dale

Thank God We Didn't Over Re-act

We caught our young teen very drunk one night. She actually came home that way and got sick. It was an awful experience and one, thankfully, she never repeated. We waited two days before we talked it out and realized she had gotten in over her head because she was hanging out with peers who didn’t have the same family values that we did. She faced some consequences for her bad choices, but we didn’t go overboard. We did keep a closer eye on her and talked to her more about the dangers of drinking on a regular basis. We also got her involved in activities where she could meet other friends. We didn’t ever have to face that problem again.

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