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Teenage DSS- is this problem drinking? What can we do?

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Catwoman13 Wed 12-Oct-16 14:06:58

I've also posted this under Teenagers. Hope that's ok. I'm interested in different perspectives on this.

Dss is 18. He is my partner's son from a previous relationship and we see him a few times a month. He's a nice kid, but both my partner and I have concerns about the amount he is drinking. We also have younger children.

He seems to be drinking most nights. He's said he drinks when socialising but there's also some evidence he's drinking alone. He drinks spirits as well as beer. He has said that he's drinking because he finds it hard to manage social situations when sober.

He has been drinking a lot for around 3 years (so its not a case of him suddenly being able to drink and going too far). However the amount and frequency seems to be escalating, and piecing it all together, he seems to be drinking most nights a week, probably to the point of being drunk. He's certainly routinely drinking excessively on weekend nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

His drinking is clearly affecting him. He's done extremely badly in his A levels, and he's ended up in fights and in A&E. Unless he's been drinking, he doesn't really interact very well. He seems permanently hungover. Increasingly, he really does not look healthy.

After his dire A level results he said he was going to cut back, buckle down and study hard, as he does really want to go to uni. If anything, since he's turned 18 he's really increased his partying. He is set on a career path which requires a specific university degree and its looking increasingly unlikely he’ll get in, or if he does, meet the academic requirements to stay on the course.

Nowadays, whenever we see him, he is always still hungover by the evening but still often heading off to another party.

He doesn't feel that there is a problem. He feels that he's just having fun.

He can drink quite a lot without it being obvious, which I think is part of the problem.

My understanding is that his mother, with whom he lives, also does not see there as being an issue. She does have a history of heavy drinking herself, and she seems to be keen to show him that she doesn't see an issue with it. He may not be as open with her as he is with my partner-I don't know for sure. (the relationship between her and my partner has completely broken down so working with her probably isn't an option).

My feeling is that the only thing we can do is to continue to offer support while continuing to be clear that we feel his drinking is excessive and dangerous.

Any thoughts, advice, btdt?

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