Teen alcohol abuse

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The misuse of alcohol by teenagers is on the rise. There are many health risks which occur as a result of alcohol such as impaired brain development, injury or death. The abuse of alcohol has also been slowly increasing the rates of drink-driving, unsafe sex and use of drugs. Although underage alcohol consumption can be considered socially acceptable for some, many are not aware of the dangerous side-effects and serious consequences.

Many are unaware that people who consume alcohol under the age of 25 are at a high risk of impaired brain development. Teenagers are particularly at risk as their brains are still developing. During the teenage years the frontal lobe and hippocampus go through dramatic changes. These areas of the brain are linked to motivation, impulse control and addiction. Excessive alcohol consumption also interferes with vitamin B absorption, which prevents the brain from working properly. If the excessive drinking is long-term it may lead to a range of disorders. This can include symptoms such as memory-loss and balance problems. So why is underage drinking acceptable? It shouldn’t be.

It is widely recognized that alcohol impairs judgement. This is very common with the topic of unsafe sex. The risks associated with alcohol and sexual practices include intercourse without a condom, exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), possible pregnancy or rape. If this was happening to your child, friend, relative or anyone in relation to you, would you be worried?

It is more likely that teenagers are going to take risks when drinking. This leads to many deaths, particularly on the roads with drink-driving and drink walkers. Other significant factors which can lead to death or serious injury include drowning, drug overdose suicide or fighting. So what leads teenagers to drink when there are serious consequences? It is mainly caused by peer pressure and the influence of adults, and yes, this does mean parents! Children learn by imitation, and the most influential role in a child’s life is their parents. If parents do not demonstrate sensible drinking behaviours it is more likely that when their child is introduced to alcohol they are going to drink excessively.

Misuse of alcohol is often linked to the use of drugs. Not to mention that many drugs are illegal, but the consumption of alcohol and drugs together can suppress the central nervous system. This causes breathing and heart rate to decrease to a dangerous level, resulting in an overdose. It is also linked to risk taking, putting the consumer and others in potential danger.

The rise in teen alcohol consumption is a topic that will never be at rest, but there are things we can do to help prevent the consequences caused by the abuse of alcohol. It starts at an early age; parents should monitor their drinking and become a positive role model for their children. Information should also be provided by schools to increase the knowledge on the effects of alcohol for teenagers in today’s society. It’s not too late to make it safer for our teens.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. So good love the job you’re doing with this blog

    Reply

  2. Definitely something that needs to be addressed! Great article 🙂

    Reply

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