According to a new study that's been done, teenagers that binge drink may have trouble perceiving their environments or surroundings because their working memory may become damaged. A teenagers brain is still developing and heavy use of alcohol can cause problems in the growth of a teens brain cells especially in their frontal brain regions.
When brain cell growth becomes interrupted it can make a big difference in how well the adolescent performs in school or sports. Unfortunately the effects could last for quite a while, possibly months after a heavy night of drinking. Consuming alcoholic beverages socially with friends is a big part of many teenagers lives especially on the weekends not just by teens but adults as well. Teenagers brains are still developing and the effects of alcohol on their spatial working memory could be serious.
The effects of heavy alcohol use can impair their driving skills, math skills, and memory. Young people realize that it's illegal to drink if they're underage but they don't realize how serious it is to their health and well-being when they do. According to the same research, heavy consumption of alcohol could affect teenage girl's more than teenage boys possibly due to the hormonal differences between them.
You may not realize it but alcohol is the most used substance among our youth throughout the United States. Alcohol is abused more than cigarettes and illegal drugs. Even though the consumption of alcohol is illegal among teens and anyone under the age of 21, many people as young as 12 and up to 20 years of age drink and consume 11 percent of the alcohol consumed in the U.S.
Did you know that young people who begin drinking before they are 15 years old are around 5 times more likely to become problem drinkers or alcoholics compared to young adults who start drinking at the legal age of 21 or older? It's true so it's important that we focus on preventing underage drinking and make it harder for teenagers to have access to alcohol.
There are also many problems that our youth can experience in their life if they binge drink and consume large amounts of alcohol. Many parents don't even realize how serious it can be for adolescents who consume heavy amounts of alcohol or binge drink, it's not just an illegal issue.
Alcohol Effects on Teens
- Their attendance and grades in school can suffer
- They may become more confrontational or get into fights much easier with others
- Legal problems can arise due to fights or DUI
- Having unprotected sex is more likely
- There can be a disruption of their sexual development and normal growth
- There is a higher risk for suicide and homicide
- The risk of car crashes are higher among youth that drink alcohol and they also risk injuring or killing someone else or them self
- Their memory is affected
- The risk of using other drugs is higher
- Their developing brain can suffer lifelong effects
- Teenagers also risk death due to alcohol poisoning
Alcohol related problems are not only serious but a reality because many young people have ruined their life or the life of someone else from binge drinking. I realize that adolescents and teens aren't the only ones that consume alcohol and affect their own life and the lives of others due to their drinking behavior but they're our children and our future. It's up to us to set good examples and keep them safe.
Every year there's around 5 thousand youths under the age of 21 that lose their life due to underage drinking. This includes around one thousand nine hundred deaths caused from motor vehicle crashes, one thousand six hundred resulted from homicides, three hundred from suicide as well as 100s from other injuries like burns, falls, and drowning's. This is very sad and underage drinking is definitely becoming a major public health problem that needs to be addressed in depth.
When most adolescents drink, they consume a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time many times becoming intoxicated rather quickly. Some youths will drink several alcoholic beverages at the same time. Too many young people have lost their lives due to teenage binge drinking and we can only hope that the loss of one beautiful and innocent teen can save the lives of many others.
The media plays a big role when it comes to influencing our youth's use of alcohol. There are many different things that can influence a person with it comes to drinking alcohol and it doesn't matter how old they are. Drinking alcohol is sometimes glorified on television shows, in movies, and even in magazine ads. There are plenty of song lyrics that refer to alcohol, being intoxicated or getting drunk. There are also many different kinds of alcohol beverages available today and many are popular among the younger generation.
All states have prevention plans in place to educate parents and teens about the dangers associated with underage drinking as well as the use of illegal and legal drugs. It's important to talk with your children and teens about what they see and hear in the media when it comes to the use of alcohol. The media and advertising are very useful tools in our society but sometimes there are also negative effects that come from them and it's our duty as parents to emphasize the dangers associated with underage drinking, binge drinking, and alcoholism.