Q: I am afraid my son is becoming an Alcoholic. I catch him drinking more and more and when I confront him he says he has no problem, he does it just for fun. Is there anything I can do to make him see his drinking is a problem?

A: First, you and he talking about alcohol is one of the best ways to help him see his drinking is noticed and creating problems. Next, if he is amendable to the idea, I would suggest taking him to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to hear others. They understand the symptoms of alcohol best and will be able to confront him effectively on his denial and cover-up. Additionally, Alcoholics Anonymous puts out a quiz to help teenagers decide upon their alcohol use:

A Simple 14-Question Quiz Designed to Help You Decide Alcoholics Anonymous-Teenagers

1. Did you ever try to stop drinking or drink less and fail?
2. Do you drink when you get mad at other people, your friends or parents?
3. Do you prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?
4. Are your grades starting to slip? Are you goofing off on your job?
5. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
6. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
7. Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?
8. Do you gulp your drinks?
9. Do you ever have loss of memory due to your drinking?
10. Do you lie about your drinking?
11. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
12. Do you get drunk when you drink, even when you don't mean to?
13. Do you crave drinking? Or have others said you are a nuisance because you bother them trying to get alcohol?
14. Do you think it's cool to be able to hold your liquor?

Scoring-Answering yes to 2 or more questions is associated with harmful or hazardous drinking, answering yes to 4 or more questions is likely to indicate alcohol dependence.

Last, you in truth will never have the power to ýmake him seeţ his drinking is a problem. This is something he must at some point realize for himself. However, you can help this process, or slow it down depending on how much you enable him. If you continue to confront him on his drinking, be honest and frank in discussing it with him, and hold him accountable for problems and consequences of his drinking, he will be more likely to realize the negative effects of drinking. If you enable him by excusing or ignoring his drinking, and trying to save him from negative consequences (like jail time or failing grades), he will be less likely to ever see his drinking as a problem.

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