Alcohol and Teens
Three of every four, or 75%, of children have consumed alcohol by the end of their high school days. This is not surprising, as approximately 41% of children say they have consumed alcohol by the end of eighth grade. These statistics are shocking to the average person, however to these teens it is a typical night out on the town.
Approximately 25% of these teens, who have used alcohol, report binge drinking-the consumption of five or more drinks in a single occasion. Binge drinking often leads to teens getting drunk, poor decisions/poor judgment, alcohol poisoning, and possibly mental and physical health damage.
Alcohol and Teens, Consequences
Teens who drink alcohol are more likely to have school problems, including failing grades, poor attendance, and lack of interest in activities. Social problems will also present with alcohol use, including fighting, legal problems, loss of friends, and lack of participation in activities. Alcohol use by teens may also cause physical problems. As teens are rapidly developing physically and mentally, alcohol can have an effect of these changes, hangovers, illness, disruption of normal growth and development, injuries as a result of car crashes, falls, and other “accidents”. Teens who use alcohol are also at a higher risk for STD’s, suicide, sexual assault, abuse of other drugs, and death.
Alcohol and Teens, Why Do They Do It?
Teens may use alcohol to fit into the crowd or to drink away stress, attempting to not deal with problems they are having. Teens may also drink to satisfy curiosity or to feel older or more mature. All around us is advertising and promotions of drinking, people enjoying life, having fun, and fantasies coming true, all with a simple drink of alcohol. Teens may find it harmless to have a drink with all the glamour associated with it. Teens are also caught in a limbo of maturity, no longer a child yet not quite an adult. Drinking is one way teens attempt to feel more mature or older. It is known the legal drinking age in the US is 21, therefore many teens feel more mature by doing something their older friends are doing.
Alcohol and Teens, What Does It Do?
Alcohol is a depressant. When alcohol enters the blood stream it slows the function of the body’s nervous system. This alters the messages attempting to get to the brain. Perceptions, emotions, movements, and the senses can all be effected by the use of alcohol. When drinking small amounts of alcohol, the drinker may feel relaxed and hassle free, the drinker then drinks more resulting in intoxication. Alcohol poison may occur when drinking too much. The body’s involuntarily reflexes are affected, including breathing and the gag reflex. Alcohol poisoning may also include vomiting, seizures, low body temperature, extreme confusion, facial and body swelling, and inability to be awakened.
(Some information was quoted from Samsha.gov and Sadd.org)