The Impact of Teen Alcohol Abuse on Student Academics

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Alcohol abuse impacts a person’s relationships, responsibilities, and their entire life in general. It is no surprise then, that when a teen abuses alcohol there’s a noticeable effect on their academics. This sudden and substantial drop in school performance can often be a parent’s first warning sign of teen alcohol abuse

Causes of Alcohol Abuse in Teens

There are many things that may cause a  teen to abuse alcohol. Understanding what is causing alcohol abuse can be invaluable when it comes to treating it. 

One of these causes can be stress and pressure. Many teens feel overwhelmed by schoolwork, relationships, and other life responsibilities. Some teens turn to alcohol as a way to numb these feelings.

Another cause of teen alcohol abuse is social factors. A lot of teens will try alcohol at some point to try and fit in with their peers. For many, this is not a big deal and they only have a drink every once in a while. However, some teens will start abusing alcohol in response to these social pressures. 

Family history and genetics can be a big contributing factor when it comes to why teens abuse alcohol. Studies have shown that genetics is at least partially responsible for someone’s likelihood to abuse alcohol. Meaning, a family history of alcohol abuse could be the cause of a teen abusing alcohol. 

Alcohol Abuse and Declining School Performance

Alcohol abuse tends to wreak havoc on all parts of a person’s life. Thus, it comes as no surprise that when a teen abuses alcohol, the abuse usually brings along a decline in school performance. This decline can manifest in multiple forms.

Lower Grades

When teens abuse alcohol, they often begin to receive lower grades. This is usually caused by a lack of studying and failure to complete homework, as after school the teen is drinking instead of doing these things.

Missing Classes

As a teen abuses alcohol, their likelihood of missing classes increases greatly. They will often skip class in order to consume alcohol. This causes them to miss classwork, which in turn causes them to receive lower grades. 

Impaired Cognition

It is proven that abusing alcohol leads to cognitive impairment. Impaired cognition is when a person has difficulty remembering, learning new things, and concentrating. It is not hard to see how difficult this would make it for someone to complete their schoolwork, especially accurately and on time.

Treatments for Teens Suffering with Substance Use Disorder

Luckily, there are a multitude of treatment options for teens suffering from substance use disorder. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and medication. All of these will be done under the care of either an inpatient treatment program or an outpatient treatment program. 

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is when the patient remains at the treatment center for the duration of their treatment program. This allows the patient to focus fully on their recovery and get well in an environment that is free from outside stress. Inpatient treatment also has the added benefit of shielding the patient from any triggers that may cause a relapse.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is when the patient does not stay at the treatment center. They are able to go home and continue their work or schooling. This has the benefit of the patient not feeling isolated or cut off from the world. Under outpatient treatment, the patient also has access to friends and family, who can provide them with much-needed support. 


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