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Teenage Drinking – Teenagers as well as parents need to understand why drinking alcohol during teenage years can have repercussions such as alcoholism that can be regretted years down the line.
The brain is still developing
During teenage years the brain is in at a crucial stage of development. This means that regular drinking, or binge drinking can cause lifetime damage to the brain. Alcohol can impair certain functions of the brain and increase the risk of many health problems.
There is also another important factor that is a risk not worth taking. Those who begin drinking as teens have a much higher chance of becoming alcoholics during their adult years than teenagers who do not drink.
Teenagers have enough on their plate:
The teens are a testing time of life for many. Hormones are going haywire; education pressures are building and parental relations can at times be strained.
Add to this peer pressure, the need to feel ‘in’ with a particular group of friends and the ever-present sexual advances that many come under, and adding alcohol to the piece really does not make sense.
Alcohol can make you lose your senses:
While we are on the topic of ‘sense’ it is well known that alcohol lowers inhibitions and can cause serious issues relating to behaviour and memory for anyone, but teenage drinkers are particularly at risk.
It is so easy to drink too much, and alcopops, those sweet tasting, very moreish alcoholic drinks often make it seem like there is no alcohol contained whatsoever. That is until an empty bottle or three are put under the table where many teenagers who overdo it also end up!
Teenage drinking can also cause the early onset of co-occurring disorders. Such disorders mainly affect adults and include:
As already mentioned, the stress of teenage years is quite sufficient without encouraging other problems to simultaneously rear their ugly head.
Long-term health issues:
It stands to reason that the earlier a person starts drinking the more likely they are to suffer potential long-term health problems. These include serious liver damage, cardiovascular problems such as strokes and heart attacks and blood pressure problems.
Of course, teenagers often think they are invincible and in the prime of their health. This may be true, but soaking one’s self in alcohol is not doing any favours at this stage of your life.
Parents must talk sensibly:
It is imperative that parents explain the inherent dangers to their children. This should not be presented as if the riot act is being read, it should not be raised during arguments, and parents should never assume that teenage drinking is only something other children do.
Sensible, informed discussion is the way to go and conversation is a must. Make your children understand the concerns you have, but do encourage them to responds and become involved.
You can assure them that they will have ample time to sample alcohol when the time is right, but that is certainly not during their important, formative early teenage years.