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Alcohol Consumption Often Times Begins During the Teen Years

April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 177

Alarmingly, alcohol is the drug most frequently used by American teenagers. Statistically, about half of all middle school and high school students claim to consume alcohol on a monthly basis. According to recent reports, approximately 14% of teenagers have been intoxicated at least once in the past year. Sadly, nearly 8% of American teens who drink, state they drink at least five or more alcoholic beverages in a row, known as binge drinking.

All things considered, not all teenagers are going to experiment with alcohol by the 7th and 8th grade. While the statistics may appear to be bleak, there are still some teens who wait until they are of legal age to begin drinking. Others may choose to never drink at all. It's important to recognize that the younger a teen begins consuming alcohol, the more likely they are to find themselves in a cycle of misuse and addiction. Once this cycle begins, they may find themselves experiencing long term physical and social effects. A few of the dangerous effects of alcohol consumption include but are not limited to the following:

  • Often times, teens will use alcohol in excess to mask other emotional problems such as depression and/or anxiety. This is known as 'self medicating'.
  • Drinking alcohol is often a stepping stone for using other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine and even heroin. Using multiple substances is common among teens.
  • Males tend to drop out of school at an earlier age when they are heavy drinkers.
  • Approximately 2,000 deaths related to car crashes occur each year due to underage drinking.
  • Nearly half of all violent deaths involving teens, are directly related to alcohol consumption and abuse.
  • Heavy drinking directly affects the mental and emotional well being of those who consume. The rate of suicide attempts increases by three times for teenage girls who drink heavily in the 8th grade.
  • Victims of suicide often have positive blood alcohol levels.
  • Furthermore, teens who drink are more likely to engage in sexual activity at an earlier age. Often times, they have sex with someone they would not normally be with had their judgment not be clouded.
  • It is fairly common for a teenager to be the victim of a sex crime or on the flip side, to be the perpetrator of a sexual assault.

All this being said, it can be frightening for parents to know what they can do to help prevent their teenager from experimenting with alcohol. Studies show clear communication by parents regarding the negative impacts of alcohol consumption, in addition to their expectations regarding the use of substances, have been shown to significantly reduce alcohol use in teens. Parents are the single most important influence in a child's life. If you as a parent are not willing to talk with your child about alcohol, who is?

With so many parents having to work full-time to support their family, children often come home to an empty household. For this reason, alcohol consumption is at his highest between the hours of 3:00pm - 6:00pm. A parent can not possibly supervise their child's behavior while away at the workplace and it has become increasingly difficult to supervise our children adequately when we are away for so many hours during the day. Parents who are able to enroll their children in extracurricular activities after school have found this to be a great deterrent to alcohol use during their teen years.

Parents can also help their teen by providing them with stress management strategies and coping mechanisms. Stress management techniques include yoga, relaxation therapy, individual or group therapy, exercise or simply learning how to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition is also an essential piece and often overlooked.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it is important to contact a qualified professional who can provide the resources necessary to begin the healing journey to recovery. Don't put treatment off another day.

Sabrina Coffin is proud to be part of a wonderful team of people who seek to help those who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Free by the Sea is located on a beautiful 5 acre campus, providing a serene healing environment that inspires patients to discover new possibilities for a life of recovery. The first 30 days of treatment includes individual treatment plans based on the needs of the client and addresses disease and recovery education, relapse prevention, anger management, emotion regulation, art therapy, meditation, 12 step meetings, life skills, transition and integration.

An extended care program is offered to patients who have stayed a minimum of 30 days. This allows for a continued focus on his/her relapse prevention needs and deeper issues to improve their quality of life, providing an even greater opportunity for success after completing our program.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug dependency, contact our supportive staff today or visit our site at

Source: EzineArticles
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