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Signs of Underage Alcohol Use

Most of those working in America’s educational systems already know the facts about underage drinking. Underage drinking is harmful:

  • It can result in death and disability, poor academic performance, high-risk behaviors, and more.
  • It adversely affects the adolescent developing brain.
  • It increases the likelihood of chronic alcohol problems.

Warning signs can help educators spot an alcohol problem, especially if the behavior occurs suddenly or seems extreme. Concern should be even greater if several of these warning signs occur at the same time.

Behavioral Changes

  • Experiencing 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
  • Having a sloppy appearance
  • Lacking involvement in former interests

Emotional Changes

  • Exhibiting mood changes, flare-ups, irritability, and defensiveness
  • Having a "nothing matters" attitude

Mental Changes

  • Having memory lapses
  • Having poor concentration

Physical Changes

  • Low energy
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech

What should you do if you observe signs of underage alcohol use?