Teens begin to drink for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they drink because they feel overburdened by copious amounts of stress, or they are caving to peer pressure. Teens can drink because they are attempting to set boundaries or establish their personhood, or they simply have not discovered strong coping mechanisms yet. Whatever the reason is, it can shed light on the individual. That does not mean that their alcohol use is sanctioned legally. It is important to remember that underage drinking can lead to steep consequences for teens, including lifelong struggles with addiction.
If you have observed that your teen is drinking, it may be time to intervene with Venture Academy’s teen alcohol rehab program. Our interventions can help your teen get back on track.
Teen Alcohol Abuse
Although most provinces have deemed it illegal for teens under the age of 19 to drink, teen alcohol abuse statistics suggest that almost two million Canadian teens drink every year. This is worrying because studies also suggest that the earlier a teen begins to drink, the more lasting their addiction may become. The repercussions for drinking can be extremely serious, leading to social harm, legal issues, and possible health complications.
- Social harm – Impaired judgment can lead to many profoundly serious consequences such as drunk-driving accidents, sexual coercion, or physical assaults. Some studies suggest that road crashes are the number one cause of death among young people in Canada, and over half of these types of crashes involve substance impairment.
- Legal issues – Teen drinking can lead to serious legal issues, including incarceration. When teens drink alcohol, one of the parts of the brain that becomes impaired is the section that controls decision-making. Alcohol can be the main factor in potentially illegal activities.
- Health complications – Whether health problems arise from binge drinking or extended use, the teen years are where these problems can start. Alcohol is not only a gateway to other types of substance use, it is a gateway to its own abuse. Teens with developing brains may experience memory dysfunction or learning disorders from even small amounts of alcohol use. Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and death. Excessive extended use can lead to life-long addiction, which causes serious heart problems, strokes, and cirrhosis of the liver.
These staggering underage drinking statistics and impacts mean that it is likely that your teen will be affected by alcohol abuse either directly through their own use, or indirectly, by travelling in the vehicle of an intoxicated friend, or suffering abuse or assault at the hands of a drunk peer.
Teen Alcohol Rehab and Dual Diagnosis
We know that the teen years are challenging to navigate for an abundance of reasons. Teens must forge a new identity, celebrate their independence, and seek validation from new peers. This can mean that they sometimes find unhealthy ways to cope or connect. But drinking can also mean that a teen is trying to hide certain parts of themselves from their peers, such as unwanted symptoms of mental health issues. Many types of mental health issues may not become noticeably symptomatic until the teen years. Because of this, teens must work through the stressors of planning for their future success while dealing with new emotional and physical complications.
Dual-diagnosis care means that two conditions require treatment. This most often looks like co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues. These conditions are often interlocked because mental illness causes symptoms that substance abuse attempts to treat. This means that you cannot escape the symptoms, and your cure becomes a new condition, alcoholism. However, a collaboration between your teen and the experienced professionals at Venture Academy can alleviate some risk by treating symptoms and causes and steering your child to healthful coping mechanisms as part of their treatment.
Don’t Let Your Teen Become a Statistic with the Help of Venture Academy
As you’ve seen, the statistics of teen alcohol abuse paint a chilling reality. If your teen struggles with alcohol abuse, get them the alcohol treatment they desperately need with Venture Academy’s 30-day assessment and intervention program and behaviour treatment. These programs offer your teen the support and learning tools that will help them to grow with positive results.
If you are still feeling unsure, consider taking our interactive child behaviour test and call 866.762.2211. It only takes about five minutes of your time to keep your child from becoming another teen alcohol statistic.