The Health Effects of Teen Alcohol Use
There has been many studies conducted on the health effects of both short-term and long-term use of alcohol among adults. Long-term risks inlcude liver damage, pancreatitis, certain cancers, and literal shrinkage of the brain. Alcohol use is the second leading cause of dementia; one simple ages quicker on alcohol. (3) But professionals today are worried about a steady increase in teen alcohol abuse and the possible negative health effects. According to an article published by the British Medical Association (BMA) entitled: “Alcohol and Young People”, “…there was a general rise in the proportion of 11 to 15 year-olds who drink alcohol regularly, but also there is an increase in the amount they are drinking on each occasion.”
Adolescence is a transition time when the body is undergoing many significant changes, such as hormonal alterations and brain development. It is also a time when young people start to associate more with friends and associates beyond their childhood contacts. They feel an increased pressure to ‘fit in’ or ‘go along with the crowd’ in order to be accepted socially. These new circumstances can be confusing and difficult for the youth to understand and deal with. Often their ability to make correct or safe decisions is also at a stage of immaturity. Exposing the brain to alcohol during this period may interrupt key processes of brain development, possibly leading to mild cognitive impairment as well as to a further escalation of drinking.
Alcohol is absorbed very rapidly into the blood stream from the stomach lining, in as short a time as 5 to 10 minutes and it’s effects last for several hours depending on the amount ingested and how quickly it was consumed. Females absorb alcohol faster than males because their bodies contain less water. The water dilutes the alcohol and so the same amount of alcohol will produce a higher concentration in the blood. After consuming only 2...
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