Teenage drinking is a chronic alcohol abuse of the adolescents.
In the teenage children get acquainted with the effects of alcohol. Usually they try alcohol for the first time in the peer company when commonly one person (a leader) determines the behavior of the whole group.
Sometimes alcohol consumption is a part of the protest reaction. It is connected with the conflicts (typically family ones) and the consumption of alcohol lessens when the problem is resolved.
The earlier the consumption of alcohol starts the more severe is the course of the disease. The average age when the teens try alcohol for the first time is 14.
25% of all the teens drink alcohol every month. Approximately 5000 deaths of persons under 21 occur each year under the alcohol-related circumstances.
Teenage drinking is caused by the bunch of different reasons. Among them are the following:
Family history of alcohol abuse;
Psychological issues and traumatic experiences, a wish to feel more significant and independent;
Experimenting and seeking new feelings;
Peer pressure and bullying;
Trying to fit into the group of people;
Signs of teenage drinking
Warning signs of possible teenage drinking include:
Problems in school and with studying (bad notes, not wishing to study);
Changes in appearance, attitude and behavior (conflicts, confrontations);
Shifting friends and hanging out with the strange groups;
Slurred speech, coordination disturbances;
The smell of alcohol;
Keeping the distance from the family, being secretive;
Alcohol affects the development of the adolescents’ brain. Therefore the teens who excessively consume alcoholic beverages show a diminished capacity for memory, attention, inability to focus.
Common symptoms of the alcohol addiction:
Blackouts and short-term memory loss;
Irritability and mood swings;
Self-justification for drinking (for example, to relax, to celebrate birthday, etc.);
Not meeting the responsibilities and obligations, avoiding tasks;
Withdrawal symptoms after the cessation of drinking;
Changing behavior to fit the requirements of acquaintances;
Risks related to drinking at a young age
Teenage drinking crucially influences the life of the teen and is related to:
Risk of physical or sexual assault;
Risky sexual behavior, risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy;
Higher risk of committing suicide;
Social issues such as isolation, judgment, reputation damage and missed opportunities;
Troubles with law;
Developmental issues, brain damage and psychiatric disorders, personality distortion;
Preventing Teenage Drinking
Prevention of teenage drinking should involve the influence on the personality, social and environmental factors.
Increasing the price of alcohol;
Keeping the minimum drinking age at 21;
Forbid driving after any amount of drinking for people under 21;
Increase the resistance to pressure;
Increase their self-esteem;
Provide information about alcohol, skills, motivation, various opportunities to have a socially active life;
Family psychotherapy and managing family conflicts;
Improve communication in the family especially between the child and parents.