Facts About Alcohol Abuse in Teens


Facts About Alcohol Abuse in Teens

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are characterized by the inability to manage or control the amount of alcohol a person consumes. This lack of control often results in a wide variety issues in that person’s life including problems with family, romantic relationship, work, school, and health. Some of the most telling signs of alcohol abuse are withdrawal and tolerance.

Symptoms of alcohol abuse include increased intake of alcohol, as well as tolerance, and withdrawal. Tolerance consists of the individual requiring more and more alcohol to produce the same buzz that the drink previously gave them. Withdrawal occurs when someone physically addicted to alcohol stops drinking, and can result in psychological effects like irritability and restlessness, and physical effects such as sweating, vomiting, and nausea.

Alcoholism cannot be traced to one specific cause, but stems from a number of factors like genetics, temperament, social influence, and mental health problems. Because it is considered a mental health disorder, alcohol cannot be detected as easily as physical disorder like cancer or HIV. Instead, it is diagnosed by comparing the individual’s behaviors to the medical definition of alcoholism.

Treatment for alcoholism is on a continuum, and the most appropriate form of treatment is determined by the severity of the person’s drinking. Borderline cases can be treated with mild approaches like alcohol education, but more chronic problems are best managed in either outpatient treatment or intensive residential programs. When it comes to acute alcoholism, residential treatment is the most effective course, and generally uses a combination of 12 Step groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, and individual counseling sessions.

Harms of Teenage Drinking

Teenagers in the United States tend to experiment with alcohol more than any other drug. Shockingly, a recent study indicated that almost half of junior high and high school students reported using alcohol at least once per month. The same study reported that 14% of teenagers have drank to intoxication, and 8% admit to binge drinking.

Although excessive drinking is dangerous to people of any age, it is especially harmful to teenagers. At that age, the brain is still forming, and at a higher risk for being damaged and developing improperly. Other parts of the brain have not fully developed, including areas of the brain that control judgment, decision making, and delaying gratification. Using alcohol at this age could “mold” the brain in a way that makes it especially susceptible to alcohol, and pave the way for a lifetime of addiction.

Treatment for Teenage Alcohol Abuse

If you have a loved one or a teenager in your life that is struggling with alcohol abuse, then Northbound Treatment Services can help. Our programs concentrate on providing our clients with evidence-based approaches for California alcohol treatment, and include individual counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, group processing, and individual counseling sessions.

If your loved one is experiencing a physical or psychological addiction to alcohol, we begin treatment in our one EIGHTY medical detoxification facility. During this phase, Northbound offers our clients 24 hour medical supervision, and the chance to begin their treatment in a comfortable, safe environment, surrounded by supportive staff.

After safely detoxing, our clinical staff creates a treatment programs that is customized to your specific needs. Northbound also offers specialized programs, like our faith based Christian program, family therapy, gender-specific care, school programs, and Alumni programs.

11 Facts About Teens And Alcohol

  • In 2012, nearly 3/4 of students (72%) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school, and more than 1/3 (37%) have done so by 8th grade.
  • According to a study by Columbia University, underage drinkers account for 11.4% of all of the alcohol consumed in the U.S.
  • The average age teen boys first try alcohol is age 11, for teen girls it’s 13.
  • Nearly 10 million young people, ages 12 to 20, reported that they’ve consumed alcohol in the past 30 days.
  • Teens who start drinking before age 15 years are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after the legal age of 21.
  • In 2010, there were approximately 189,000 emergency rooms visits by teens under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.
  • Teens who drink heavily are three times more likely to try and hurt themselves (self-harm, attempt suicide etc.) than those who don’t.
  • 9 out of 10 American teens report that drinking is not worth the consequences it can cause.
  • The 3 leading causes of death for 15 to 24-year-olds are automobile crashes, homicides and suicides – alcohol is a leading factor in all 3.
  • In 2010, 56% of drivers aged 15 to 20 who were killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.
  • The rate of current alcohol consumption increases with age, according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, from 2% at age 12 to 21% at age 16, and 55% at age 20.

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