Many young people will drink alcohol and do not develop problems. However, if someone starts when they're young and uses it on a regular basis, they are putting themselves at risk.
In addition to starting young, there are other factors which put a person at increased risk of developing alcohol problems. These factors don't mean that a person will automatically develop a problem, but they do increase the risk.
- Family history of alcohol or other substance use problems
- Difficulty coping with or managing stress and other problems
- Problems at home
- Having an untreated anxiety, depression or other mental health condition
- Difficulty fitting in at school, at work or with one's peer group
- Having a stressful life change or experiencing trauma
Alcohol may be becoming a problem when you...
- Find that your drinking is increasing - the number of drinks you have on any one occasion is increasing or you're drinking more frequently
- Have difficulty cutting down or controlling your use
- Rely on alcohol to help you escape from worries or problems
- Use alcohol as your main source of entertainment and fun
- Spend a lot of time getting alcohol, using it or recovering from it
- Have problems at school, work or in your relationships as a result of your drinking
Concerned About a Friend?
Often friends notice changes that may signal an emerging alcohol use problem. For information on how to support a friend, visit Concerned About a Friend's Alcohol or Drug Use?.