Know the Signs

Warning Signs of Underage Drinking

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides the following information on signs of teen alcohol use/abuse.

Adolescence is a time of change and growth, including behavior changes. These changes usually are a normal part of growing up but sometimes can point to an alcohol problem. Parents and teachers should pay close attention to the following warning signs that may indicate underage drinking:

  • Changes in mood, including anger and irritability
  • Academic and/or behavioral problems in school
  • Rebelliousness
  • Changing groups of friends
  • Low energy level
  • Less interest in activities and/or care in appearance
  • Finding alcohol among a young person’s things
  • Smelling alcohol on a young person’s breath
  • Problems concentrating and/or remembering
  • Slurred speech
  • Coordination problems


Teenager sits on old staircase. Desaturated image. Please view other images from this shoot in my portfolio.