Underage drinking is a serious problem in the United States. Many parents don't realize that their children are participating in it. Those that are aware that their kids are drinking often don't know how to stop it.
The best way to address underage drinking is before it even starts. However, that's not always possible. If you're a parent who is concerned about your teen consuming alcohol, there is so much you should know.
Teen alcohol use and abuse is prevalent everywhere you turn. Most parents are unaware of the seriousness of this problem.
These statistics are scary to say the least. However, they are definitely eye opening. Clearly, teenage alcohol abuse has gotten out of control.
This is not the only drug that teens use, although it is the most popular. The CDC cites some statistics that are even more troubling. They state that:
Drinking young is a major issue for teens, and binge drinking is very common. In adults, binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women in two hours. These numbers may be even lower for teenagers.
Statistics tell us that:
It's time to pay closer attention to these facts and statistics. Underage drinking isn't going away anytime soon. Pretending it doesn't exist, or doesn't apply to your child doesn't work.
Parents need to be active in learning if their children are drinking under the age of 21. If they are, they need to know what to do about it. It's helpful to learn more about what causes teens to consume alcohol, and what the effects are.
There are so many reasons why young people abuse alcohol. In fact, most teens drink for a variety of different reasons. It's impossible to narrow it down to just one. In fact, the same can be said for the causes of drug abuse among youths.
Drinking underage has a profound effect on teens. Neither their bodies nor their minds are equipped to handle alcohol. There is a very good reason why the legal drinking age is 21 in the United States.
It's important to understand the effects of teenage drinking on the brain and on the body.
You can find thousands of teenage drinking articles online that discuss the effects of alcohol on the brain. Teens often think they're old enough to handle alcohol. However, research tells a very different story.
When it comes to alcohol, the short-term consequences for teens include:
How does alcohol affect the brain long-term? Research shows that:
Young people tend to think that alcohol is safe because it's legal for adults. They fail to realize that it can have significant, negative effects on them physically. Some of these effects include:
Thousands of teenage drinking articles tell us that the effects of binge drinking for teens are even more concerning. Considering the fact that most young drinkers binge, it's important to know the health issues.
The longer binge drinking continues for teens, the more serious the problem becomes. The long-term consequences of bingeing include:
It is very possible for a teenager to become an alcoholic. This is because the neural connections within their brains are still being formed. When it is used repeatedly, the memories and experiences associated with it are strengthened.
This is what makes teens much more vulnerable to alcoholism than adults are. The longer a young person uses alcohol, the stronger those memories become. It explains why teens will frequently do things they didn't intend to do when it comes to drinking. They wouldn't take many of the risks they do without these strong neural connections.
You may be the parent of an underage drinker. Or, perhaps you're a parent who wants to prevent your son or daughter from drinking alcohol. Either way, your situation is not easy. The pressure to drink can be very strong at times. It will help for you to know what to do.
If your teenager has not started drinking, you are quite fortunate. It's important for you to know how to prevent him or her from starting. There are some steps you can take to do this:
The good news is that most young people believe their parents should have a say in their consumption. This means that laying the proper foundation now may prevent teen alcohol abuse for your child.
For some parents, their children have already started drinking. It's easy to see how these moms and dads might want to give up. However, the battle is far from over. You can still have a strong influence in your child's life by doing the following:
It's possible that your teen really doesn't want to drink. However, he or she might not know the best way to say no. Here are some ideas you can offer your son or daughter:
If you have a young person who consumes in your home, getting help is so important.
At Northpoint Evergreen Bellevue, we can provide alcohol treatment for your son or daughter.
Parents are often very concerned about sending their children away to alcohol rehab. They're right to have reservations. You'll find that our IOP program is flexible enough that your teen can still attend school. He or she can get the needed assistance on a schedule that works for them.
As a mom or a dad with an underage drinker at home, your worries are completely understandable. You need answers and you need help. It would be a privilege to provide you with both.