Every year, alcohol addiction increases, which is alarming because it’s also a leading cause of death. In spite of this, many people are still fond of social drinking.
While many of the beverages you consume have a relatively high alcohol content, there are still people who enjoy drinking them even though they have low alcohol tolerance.
Among all age groups, young people are the most affected by alcohol. Most young people between the ages of 12 and 20 have tried alcohol. In many countries, underage drinking is a serious problem, often with grave consequences.
Teens are more likely to get addicted to alcohol than adults because of the way the human brain develops. At this stage of development, teenagers are more vulnerable to alcohol addiction because the part of the brain that manages pleasure matures earlier than the part of the brain responsible for control and sound decision making.
Since the mental capacity of the brain hasn’t fully developed yet, teens don’t thoroughly understand the consequences of overdrinking. Alcohol addiction often puts your safety and health at risk, or causes other alcohol-related problems. Moreover, alcohol addiction can cause dysfunction and interruption of your daily activities.
Also, alcohol addiction can also affect personal matters, goals in life, and relationships. Over time, if left untreated, the effects of alcohol addiction can worsen and produce damaging and detrimental complications.
As a parent, relative, teacher, or friend, you have a significant impact on the choices that teenagers in your life make. Moreover, talking to and helping teens understand openly and honestly the consequences and possible results of underage drinking are also important.
Facing the problems of alcohol addiction and doing something about it are the best ways to counter the problem and gain back your healthy lifestyle and sober life.
The start of alcohol intake
Usually, the intake of alcohol among young people begins around age 13. There may be different reasons why young people use alcohol. These reasons are factors that push or encourage the teenager to drink alcohol.
Nevertheless, the choice is still with the person as to whether he or she decides to use alcohol. Alcoholism is not a moral issue, nor a lack of willpower. The body of each teenager responds differently to the effects of alcohol. A family history of alcoholism can also trigger or worsen the problem of developing an alcohol addiction.
The danger it imposes
Teenagers who are intoxicated make impulsive decisions regarding things. Most teens face immediate negative consequences because of alcoholism. Moreover, alcohol addiction among teenagers doesn’t affect only them, but also the people around them and society in general.
Alcohol is a significant factor in car crashes, affecting both drivers and passengers. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of getting into an accident.
During puberty, there are many hormonal changes in a teenager’s body. These hormones encourage growth factors and increase production of other hormones, which are vital for normal organ development. Excessive intake of alcohol during the puberty stage may hinder the critical hormonal balance necessary for normal development of organs, bones, and muscles.
Just as hormonal changes occur during the puberty stage, the brain is also developing during this time. The effects of alcohol on the brain become complicated. Alcohol consumption has a significant impact on memory skills, long-term thinking, and coordination skills.
Lastly, teenagers who who suffer from alcohol addiction are more likely to be involved in physical fights and sexual assaults. Moreover, teens who drink are less likely to use protection during sexual activity, and may have a higher risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy.
Talk to them: Prevention is better than cure
Perhaps the best way to deal with alcohol problems is to stop them from ever occurring. Parents, relatives, teachers, and friends can have an impact on the alcohol intake of teenagers.
Even at a young age, parents must teach and help develop the mental capacity of their children. If you can create an atmosphere at home that shapes and values the importance of mental health and prevention of underage drinking, then you can help decrease the possible chances of your kids taking alcohol and engaging in other risky behaviors.
Be a positive role model to your children. In short, practice what you preach. Don’t expect your kids to stop drinking if they can see you doing excessive drinking also. Moreover, you should involve yourself in your teenager’s life. Make your child feel that you care. Know who his or her friends are, where and what they are doing. Encourage decision making and independence, but set limits also.
Help your teenager find alternative activity options. Learn about school activities that may interest and inspire your child to join and participate in them. Teenagers who are active in sports or social groups are less likely to take part in drinking sessions.
How to stop this addiction
If you sense that your teenager is experimenting and taking too much alcohol already, you should seek assistance quickly. It is better to ask for health assistance if you cannot resolve the problem within your family. You can talk to a substance abuse counselor, or in the worst cases, a rehab center that can give the immediate help needed.
Alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug among teenagers. It causes grave and life-threatening problems for all of us. Most teens use alcohol to escape from problems or situations at hand.
Teens requires attention and supervision to prevent or lessen the possible extensive health and economic impact of alcohol use on adolescents. The intervention of parents, relatives, teachers, friends, and other people around teens can help greatly to hinder the initiation of drinking alcohol.
Again, you can ask help for your teenager by contacting rehab centers nearby. Rehab centers are the best way to provide your teen with medical attention and supervision to regain his or her sober and healthy lifestyle.
Vikram Taguru is a passionate leader, CEO, and founder of Detox of South Florida, Florida’s Top Alcohol Detox and Drug Rehabilitation Center. He is also a proud advocate of drug-free living. In his spare time, he loves writing about tips on how to manage day-to-day tasks without depending on different addictive drugs.