This article explores the question
Dangers of Alcohol
Alcohol is the most common drug used by teenagers. It can lead to the use of other types of drugs. Drinking and driving is a major cause of death among the population, especially among teenagers. Alcohol can also be a factor in other deaths, such as drowning, suicide and homicide or other crimes such as rape, aggravated assault or robbery. It is well-known that alcohol lowers inhibitions. This can lead to having unprotected sex at earlier ages, more often. Another problem is that the earlier a person starts drinking, the more likely he or she is to become dependent.
Reasons Why Teenagers Drink
Peer pressure is a major reason why teenagers drink. They see movies, television and magazine ads and are pressured by friends to drink. Teenagers want to look more popular or mature.
Others drink to reduce anxiety or to feel more confident. This is especially true if the teenager has to deal with anxiety-causing situations such as drinking problems in the home, divorce of parents, physical or sexual abuse or a death in the family or of a close friend.
Signs of a Drinking Problem
Some signs that a serious drinking problem may be occurring with the teenager include: avoiding friends and family, staying out of school or cutting classes, falling grades and hanging out with a new and older crowd. The person will also loses interest in activities and hobbies they used to like and constantly fights or argues with parents. The teenager will also experience frequent hangovers, confusion, depression or blackouts and e constantly tired. Their health will deteriorate. Blackouts are intervals of time that the individual doesn’t remember anything like where he/she was or what he/she was doing.
Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that if your teenager experiences even one of the following symptoms, he/she may have a drinking problem:
- Drinking to relax,
- Drinking when they get mad at friends or parents,
- Drinking alone rather than with friends,
- Goofing off on the job or slipping grades,
- Tried but couldn’t stop drinking or drinking less,
- Drinking before school or work in the morning,
- Gulping drinks,
- Have loss of memory associated with drinking,
- Lie about drinking,
- Getting into trouble when drinking,
- Getting drunk even when you didn’t mean to,
- Thinking it’s cool to be able to hold your liquor.
Some experts advise to permit drinking a glass of wine or a beer at home with parents. This will expose teenagers to alcohol and perhaps they will be less likely to go crazy and binge at the first opportunity, like perhaps when they go off to college. Sit down and talk to teenagers about how to drink so that they do not drink themselves into the Emergency Room. This will foster responsible drinking habits.
Having a good relationship with your child, where he/she can talk honestly with a parent is essential. Keep track of your child’s activities and whereabouts. Set down rules and consequences about drinking. Encourage alternatives to drinking. Encourage friendships and activities. Talk to the school counselor, a member of the clergy or your doctor if you suspect that your child may have a problem. You can also try the local hospital, mental health centers, and alcoholism treatment centers.