Start with Action Steps You Can Take at Home
If you suspect that your child may be using alcohol, there are steps you can take:
- Ask if your child has been drinking
- Look for warning signs
- Review our Warning Signs page for a list of symptoms and behaviors associated with underage alcohol use.
- Set or revisit rules and consequences
- Review some advice in our Talking With Your Teen section.
- Monitor for Alcohol Use
- Learn more on our Monitor page.
Get Help and SupportYou don’t have to assess your child for alcohol or drug use all on your own, there are people you can go to for help.
In fact, seeking the help of a trained professional is the first step you should take if you have serious concerns about your child. Below you will find information about substance treatment and abuse counselors, as well as support groups in Vermont.
Student Assistance ProgramsStudent Assistance Programs (SAPs) consist of trained student assistance counselors and/or student assistance teams.
SAP counselors and teams give educational presentations that help prevent substance use, identify students with problems and coordinate student support groups, and may also refer students to community programs for treatment. By being located within the school, SAPs help build strong connections between students, their families, school personnel and community service agencies.
Pediatrician/Family DoctorContact your child's doctor to discuss your concerns. Your family doctor will be able to talk with your child about alcohol and its effect on the body.
Remember—for confidentiality reasons, a doctor can't tell you what your child disclosed, but he/she can help persuade your kid to stop drinking or to get treatment if the problem is more serious.
If your child’s drinking has begun to cause problems within the family, at school or in the community, it’s time to start looking into treatment. This is best done with the help of a trained adolescent substance abuse specialist. He/she can help you determine the extent of the issue and offer treatment resources best suited to your child’s needs and developmental state.
Most local treatment agencies have a range of specialists on staff and provide the stability, education, discipline and counseling that adolescents need to get better.
Friends of Recovery-VermontFriends of Recovery-Vermont is a grassroots advocacy organization that helps spread the word about the value of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and the effects of addictions. Friends of Recovery sponsors the FACES Network (Families of Addiction Consulting for Effective Services) which is made up of Vermont parents and families that have been personally impacted by adolescent substance use and/or mental health issues.
Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Consultants (PCs) are based in Vermont Department of Health District Offices and provide the following services:
- Presentations & Trainings
- Program Planning & Consultation
- Community Grants
- Community Organization
- Information & Referral