Parents and Teens need to take Alcohol Abuse serious, sadly in today’s world more than ever!
It’s no wonder that young people experiment and abuse alcohol today, it’s everywhere. How can we expect adolescents and teens to understand and grasp the seriousness of alcohol abuse, binge drinking, driving under the influence and irresponsible alcohol related behavior when adults don’t get it?
Alcohol use is glorified everywhere, magazines, movies, soap operas, family TV shows, billboards and music lyrics alone makes it appealing and interesting to kids, teens and young people. Don’t kid yourself, young people and teens pay close attention to family members and other adults in their life who drink alcohol. They find it extremely humorous when they see you stumble, act giddy and be the life of the party and then, drive home. Again, how can we teach them the dangers and seriousness about alcohol use and abuse when many adults don’t seem to get it? What is even more ridiculous is when adults wonder what’s wrong with our young people today.
Underage Drinking Facts
Unfortunately, underage drinking isn’t getting any better it’s only getting worse. According to A 2008 national survey, in this country alone, about 10 million young people between the ages of 12 and 20 admitted to drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. When young people drink alcohol, they tend to drink in excess. They don’t usually drink alcohol slowly and enjoy an alcoholic beverage, they slam four or five one right after another. Did you know that every year there are about 5 thousand young people that die due to alcohol abuse? Around 1,900 of them are crash related from driving under the influence of alcohol and 300 are suicide related. 1,600 of them are homicides and hundreds are sadly injury related due to falling, severe burns and drowning’s. Children who start drinking alcohol before they are 15 years old stand a 4 times higher risk of developing alcohol dependency than individuals that start drinking at 21 years of age. By far, alcohol is the most common abused substance among teenagers in America and one of the leading causes of death.
How are teens and young people getting alcohol?
Many young people don’t even have to go anywhere to get alcohol either, anymore alcoholic beverages along with hard liquor is easily accessible in their own homes. Surveys have shown that this happens all the time and parents don’t even know it’s missing. Some parents not only let their own teens drink at home but, let their kids friends drink too. We can’t expect our children to make good sound choices if the parents don’t. Young people find many ways to get alcohol when they want to. Through surveys, some of the ways teens obtain alcohol are:
- Through their own under aged friends
- Using fake IDs
- From family members, friends of the family and relatives
- Shoppers purchasing alcohol for themselves have been known to buy for teens outside the establishment
- Stealing alcohol from stores, home, friends’ homes and neighbor’s outdoor garages
- Purchase alcohol without having their IDs checked
Unfortunately, there are also adults out there who we trust and hope to be role models for our children, teachers in some cases have also been known to supply teens with alcohol.
According to the NIAAA which is the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, some children have a higher risk for having problems that may be alcohol related, they are
- Those who started drinking alcohol or abusing drugs before 15 years of age
- If they have a parent that is an alcoholic or problem drinker
- If they have close friends that abuse drugs and alcohol
- If at an early age they showed signs of aggressive, antisocial, or hard to control behavior
- Have been exposed to childhood abuse or any other major trauma
- If they have current behavioral problems as well as failing in school
- If they experience hostility or rejection from parents and/or harsh and inconsistent discipline
When you’re young, experimenting with life, trying new things and fitting in with your friends is extremely important. Quite often experimenting and trying new things in today’s world involves alcohol and drugs. It’s more important now than ever before to educate yourself as well as your children about the dangers and risks involving any substance abuse. Understanding what signs to look for concerning alcohol dependency and drug abuse is part of parenting now-a-days. Most people know the signs of alcohol intoxication but I will list them for those that don’t. Indications that an individual is intoxicated include:
- The smell of alcohol on their breath as well as their body
- Bloodshot eyes
- The individual shows signs of passiveness or argumentative behavior
- Skin appears to be flushed
- Signs of memory loss
Symptoms of teen alcohol abuse are:
- Breaking curfew
- Staying in their room more than normal
- Wanting to be by their self
- Their behavior becomes verbally or physically abusive
- Mood swings
- Alcohol related paraphernalia in their possession/rooms
- Alcohol on their breath
Because binge drinking has become so popular among teens and young people, alcohol poisoning is becoming a frequent problem for those who abuse alcohol, this happens in all age groups. In many cases, the results can be fatal. Consuming large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time seems to be quite popular, beer pong and other drinking games is one way many young people socialize. Many people have lost their lives doing just that. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol slows down bodily functions, breathing and heart rates decrease rapidly as well as the individuals gag reflex. This leads to choking, the individual may become comatose, they stop breathing, their heart stops and then death occurs.
Treatment For Teens and Young People For Alcohol Dependency and Abuse
12 Step Programs (Alcoholics Anonymous, Family Intervention, Individual Counseling, Group Therapy, Family Counseling and Therapy as well as Relapse Prevention Programs are all designed to not only help the individual that’s struggling with alcohol dependency, but the whole family. Don’t let one of these terrible tragedies happen to you or someone you love. Become educated and Pro-Active in your teens life and remember, sometimes we have to change our behaviors before we can expect our children to change theirs.
Websites used in article
The Century Council Underage Drinking Statistics
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Alcohol and Teens http://www.medicinenet.com/alcohol_and_teens/page5.htm#tocm