Trouble Ahead: 16 yr-old son drinking alone in his room
anonymous Asks ...
I found my 16 year old son drinking alone in his room. He wasn’t drunk and he says he doesn’t get drunk and that sometimes he just has a couple of drinks at night to help him sleep. I have had a problem with him. He doesn’t get in any trouble and he does well at school. How worried do I need to be by this? I have forbidden him to continue with the drinking and he said it was no big deal.
Raffi Bilek Says ...
I would be pretty worried. First of all, a 16-year-old drinking is not great. A 16-year-old drinking to help him get to sleep is DEFINITELY not great. It is likely symptomatic of something deeper going on. A 16-year-old drinking alone in his room is also a bad sign. And to top it off, he says "it's no big deal." This does not sound like it's going in a good direction. I think you would be wise to start looking for ways to get involved now before it gets worse. This might mean finding an adult he trusts, if it's not you; speaking to the guidance counselor at school; getting in touch with a therapist who deals with adolescents, or substance abuse issues, or both; or anything else you can think of that won't result in him just rebuffing your concerned words.