Because it is legal and readily available, alcohol can present a unique problem for young people. The ordinariness of drinking and alcohol not only heightens its likelihood for abuse but makes avoiding it especially difficult. While many may frown upon underage drinking, the full scope of how dangerous the practice is for young people’s development isn’t. The dangers associated with underage drinking present overwhelming challenges for parents. Teenagers become exposed to alcohol at home as well as through their friends and celebrities who glamorize the habit. They may see drinking as a fun activity that makes them feel like an adult. The problem is that most teenagers lack the maturity to drink responsibly, which can lead to dangerous consequences.
Venture Academy understands the unique pressures and dangers facing adolescents, teens, and young adults when it comes to alcohol abuse. Fortunately, we offer a wide range of programs allowing young people and their families to overcome alcohol use disorder and fully recover.
Health Risks of Underage Drinking
The human brain doesn’t finish developing until the early 20s. When a young person engages in underage drinking, alcohol can alter their brain chemistry. This can alter or dampen a teen’s mental development. There’s evidence that underage drinking whether chronic or binge drinking (a frequent form of alcohol abuse in both young people and adults) can hinder the brain’s growth. Altering brain development may lead to cognitive problems like memory loss. A life-threatening habit, binge drinking can reduce academic performance. Additionally, consuming alcohol during puberty can alter hormonal interactions within the body and disrupt growth. Drinking can also affect your child’s mood, creating a greater risk of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
When compared to non-drinkers, teens who consume alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behaviours, such as driving under the influence, riding with someone who has been drinking, or engaging in unprotected sex. There’s also an increased risk of sexual assault when drinking, drunk, or passed out. Some other dangers of binge drinking include:
- Alcohol poisoning
Additionally, teens who drink are more likely to smoke marijuana or use other drugs. These risky behaviours often get underage drinkers in trouble with law enforcement.
Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities
Underage drinkers suffer greater impairment when driving, which increases the possibility of killing themselves or others on the road. Teenage drinkers are also more susceptible to other potentially fatal situations that can result in burns, falls, drownings, and suicides. Underage drinking is a factor in numerous hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room.
Getting Your Child Help for Underage Drinking
Underage drinking can lead to problems in all aspects of life. Research shows that teens that drink regularly are more likely to develop drinking problems later in life. Not only does drinking early in life raise the risk of alcohol use disorder as an adult but it also increases the likelihood of other substance use issues. Teenagers with a family history of alcoholism are especially vulnerable. While genetics or family history doesn’t mean an individual will develop an alcohol use disorder or addiction, it does mean more caution needs to be practiced to prevent it.
If you believe that your child has a drinking problem, help is just a phone call away. Venture Academy’s holistic drug and alcohol treatment program includes:
- 30-day assessment and intervention
- Individualized treatment plan
- Individual and group substance abuse counseling
- Transition planning for sober living in the future
At Venture Academy, our goal is to provide your teenager with the tools that he or she needs to lead a healthy, positive life. Call Venture Academy today at 855.281.5813 to learn more about our troubled teen programs.