Alcohol abuse is one of the most concerning public health crises in the US. Despite the dangers of alcohol, many teenagers in the United States have used it.
Unfortunately, you are more likely to suffer from alcohol use disorders (AUD) in adulthood when you start drinking during adolescence. Furthermore, alcohol abuse has more severe impacts on your body as a teen when compared to adults. So, what are the effects of alcohol use on teens, and how can a local rehab center help your family?
The Dangers of Alcohol to Teenagers
Scientific evidence shows that alcohol impairs brain development. When you are a kid, the primary focus of the mind is the production of new cells and the replacement of worn-out ones. During your teenage years, the brain begins to create new neural pathways for relaying messages to various brain regions.
When you start drinking at a tender age, you lower the brain’s capability to execute memory-oriented responsibilities. The habit leaves the frontal regions of your brain underdeveloped. This damage can significantly hinder your academic progress and make it more difficult for you to succeed in the workforce.
When you drink as a teenager, you increase the risks of having problems with law enforcement officers. The legal drinking age is 21 years in the US, so you can be arrested for underage drinking, which can go into your criminal record.
Teens who drink frequently are also more likely to have problems at school. Alcohol can damage your ability to concentrate on studies and affect performance in sports.
Various Health Risks
Chronic health problems might not become apparent immediately. However, excessive drinking as a teenager puts you at a higher risk of developing severe health complications as an adult.
Studies reveal that teens who frequently drink are at a higher risk of being overweight or developing hypertension by the time they reach adulthood. If you continue drinking excessively into adulthood, you risk more damage to your body organs.
The most common health dangers of alcohol to teens include the development of chronic conditions, such as:
- Liver cirrhosis
- Heart problems
Adolescents who drink excessively are more likely to be sexually active and engage in unprotected sex. Such behaviors often lead to STIs and unwanted pregnancies, which can change and end lives.
The chances of injuring yourself—maybe even fatally—are higher when you are drunk. For instance, drowning fatalities among adolescents have a direct link to alcohol use. Furthermore, alcohol significantly increases the likelihood that you will cause a car accident or get involved in a homicide or suicide.
When struggling with an alcohol use disorder as a teenager, seek treatment as early as possible to overcome the condition. Talk to your parents or other trusted people in your life about your health status, but do not fail to seek professional help at a rehab center. There are many qualified addiction professionals ready to walk with you through your recovery journey. Many therapists will offer you access to a range of treatment programs, including:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Aftercare therapy program
- Family recovery support therapy
There are many dangers of alcohol abuse to teens, and some can be fatal. If you are the parent or guardian of a teenager struggling with an alcohol use disorder, organize a medical intervention immediately.