Alcohol is one of the most readily available and most misused substances. Teenagers are going to experiment with drugs and alcohol, but they don’t seem to see the link between what they do today and the consequences on tomorrow. Alcohol abuse in teenagers is on the decline but it is also still the leading cause of teenage death. There are also long term and short term health effects that come along with abusing alcohol as a teenager. Children of alcoholics are a lot more likely to abuse alcohol because of what they went through growing up. There are a ton of warning signs that your teenager will also display if they are abusing alcohol.
Teenage Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is the number one abused substance by teenagers. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol is common and the average age for first alcohol consumption is 12 years old. Teenagers experiment with drugs and alcohol and they don’t see the link between their actions today and their consequences tomorrow. Even though teenage alcohol abuse is on the decline, it is still one of the leading causes of death for teenagers. (Teens: Alcohol and Other Drugs,2008) There are a lot of warning signs to tell if your teenager is abusing alcohol. There will be physical, emotional, and social changes. The physical changes will be the most obvious to catch. Your teen will continuously have red or bloodshot eyes, sleeping problems or increased fatigue, changes in weight, lack of concentration for everything. If they start other drug use like cigarette smoking, they may have repeated health complaints, and start paying less attention to their grooming and the way that they are dressing. The social and emotional changes may be a little more difficult to detect but if your teen continues to abuse these signs will also become more apparent. They will have a major personality change; suffer from severe mood swings, irritability, depression, and secretive behavior. They may also become withdrawn from the family, have changes in their friends or peer groups and not want to introduce their new friends to their family. They may also start having problems with the law and start to lie about the most insignificant things. There are also certain groups of individuals who are more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol. Teenagers suffering from anxiety, depression, those who have close friends who drink, and those who have a family history of alcohol abuse. (Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse,2008)(Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse)(Teens: Alcohol and other Drugs,2008) Children of alcoholics are four times as likely to develop and addiction to alcohol than children without. Teenage alcohol addiction runs in long lines from parents to child. About 1 in 4 American adults have lived with an alcoholic parents growing up. When growing up with an alcoholic parent the lack of definition as well as a sense of stability is what often instigates the onset of alcoholism as a teenager. Children of alcoholics or COA’s are often forced to assume responsibilities meant for adults. They don’t have their parents to provide for them as much as parents should. These children are often forced to deal with a great amount of pressure to handle home issues at a young age. These children may also act like “responsible parents” with their friends. These effects of having alcoholic parents may also cause problems in school for the teenagers. Academic performance is severely impaired, along with their level of responsibility. If they are abusing alcohol, they may start to skip school, not turning in their assignments, and eventually their grades will start to suffer from their lack of attention paid to their assignments. The teenagers in college may also lose all of their school funding for school of get kicked out. Many teens think that life is one big party now that they are on their own at school. Alcohol is on of the most readily available and most consumed substances. According to the National...
References: 3. Rea, Caroline(2008) Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse Retrieved from
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7. (2002) Children of Alcoholics. Retrieved from
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