Archive for category Alcohol Abuse
In this age of multi-tasking and multiple jobs, parents cannot spend enough time with children to be able to monitor their activities. As a result, it has become acceptable for socially active teens to be away from home and with their friends. Because of this, parents find it difficult to know the exposure of their children to alcohol, and especially in terms of whether their drinking habits are crossing way beyond the line.
Alcohol abuse can be attributed to a number of factors, some of which include genetic predisposition, family relationships, exposure to peers and the environment, and emotional health. Drinking can rise in a lot of occasions, and the effects may vary from person to person.
It is always best for parents to be aware of the signs of alcohol abuse before it leads to dependence or addiction. “Parents are usually the first to sense a problem, even if they don’t know what it is. If you see signs, seek the help of a professional,” said Leslie Adair in a news release. Adair works at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Adolescent and Young Adult Services program as director of Mental Health and Family Services.
Here are some of the telltale signs that your kids may be dangling on excessive alcohol consumption:
Teens who engage in alcohol abuse have a higher likelihood to be unmindful of their physical appearance. They may dress lousily, and beg off from taking a shower. Their focus is shifted towards alcohol rather than proper hygiene.
- Messy, shows lack of caring for appearance
- Poor hygiene
- Red, flushed cheeks or face
Personal Habits or Actions
You may notice sudden changes in the usual things that your children do. Dishonesty may set in as your teenage children try to cover up lies. It may even come a point when things in your house start to disappear, only to find out that your child has put them up for sale in order to earn something to purchase alcohol. They may also withdraw themselves from family gathering and dinners to evade questions and confrontations.
- Clenching teeth
- Smell of smoke or other unusual odors on breath or on clothes
- Chewing gum or mints to cover up breath
- Frequently breaking curfew
- Cash flow problems
- Locked doors
- Secret phone calls/conversations
Growing teens may experience several physical changes as part of their natural growth to adulthood. However, some of these health-related concerns may also reveal abuse of alcohol.
- Runny nose, not caused by allergies or a cold
- Frequent sickness
- Wetting lips or excessive thirst (known as “cotton mouth”)
- Sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain
What to do upon discovery
Realizing that your child may be drinking will probably cause you panic, confusion, and anger. In dealing with the issue, it is always best to be composed and non-emotional when confronting your teen. Clarify the matter with love will make them feel that you are concerned for their welfare and willing to support them in any way that you can.
Here’s some news that you don’t get to hear often: Hand sanitizers designed to rid the skin of bacteria are now being ingested by teens as a way to satisfy their alcohol cravings.
This was reported by the BBC, after local police in the Swedish locality of Karlskoga have discovered multiple cases of teenagers drinking anti-bacterial hand sanitizer gels. “Young people have been coming to the emergency room with alcohol poisoning and saying they had drunk alco-gel,” said police representative Stefan Sund.
As a result of this disturbing discovery, police have now ordered the pullout of hand sanitizer gel products in open store shelves so that they are made available only in over-the-counter pharmacies.
Sweden law prohibits individuals below 20 years of age to purchase alcoholic drinks, most of which are being sold in liquor stores regulated by the government. However, some bars and restaurants usually serve drinks to customers as long as they are 18 years old or older. It’s because of this restriction that some teenagers resort to ingesting hand sanitizer products, which contain as much as 85 percent alcohol. Some teens reported to mix these sanitizing products with fruit juices to make the taste more pleasant.
Similar cases were also reported by other countries, mainly due to the appeal of these products to children. Many of the hand sanitizer gels sold in the market come in sweet and fruity flavors, which could mislead kids and teens.
[Image by Jade Jackson via Flickr]
Teen drinking is already a disturbing and threatening issue by itself, but a recent review on teenagers revealed that adolescents are starting on the habit much younger than before.
According to client records from Louisville’s Morton Center and New Albany’s Our Place, the trend on teen drinking is getting worse. As more teenagers get checked in for alcohol abuse treatment, the two centers reported via a news release that “the average age that local teens start drinking is decreasing.” In fact, some workers in these treatment centers say that they have encountered alcohol addiction cases as early as age 10.
Meanwhile, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that the average age when teens start to drink is 13. As for the rest of the teen population, roughly 35 percent have already tasted their first drink before they reached the age of 15. “If you look at use rates say from the late 1980s, early 1990s, they were a lot higher than they are now… We got really good at this and brought those rates down. I think the concern is we’re starting to see those rates go back up,” said Our Place executive director MeriBeth Adams Wolf.
She stated further that one of the reasons behind this alarming trend is the lack of parental control in preventing teen alcohol abuse. “We even have local data that’s showing us that too many kids are stating that they really don’t think their parents would be upset if they had one or two drinks per day… And you look at that, and you’re going, ‘How are you getting that message?'” Adams Wolf added.
All in all, teenagers must be made aware of the effects of alcohol in their lives as they grow up to become adults. “Not that we want to scare them, but they need to have this knowledge… And not just your parents saying, ‘Don’t do this.’ They need to know there’s a reason behind it,” said Morton Center chief executive officer Priscilla McIntosh.
Allowing your children to experience life according to their own terms may have some advantages, but not when it comes to preventing alcohol abuse. This was revealed through a new study on teen drinking.
The study, jointly conducted by Queen’s University Belfast and Glasgow University, said that parents who don’t exercise control and authority in the household may increase the likelihood of their teenage children to engage in excessive alcohol consumption. “We are hypothesising that while emotional support and closeness are important for ensuring mental wellbeing, when it comes to health behaviours like alcohol use, parental rules may have more of an influence over factors outside the home such as peer influences and social media,” said study co-author Mark McCann in a news release.
Researchers reviewed data from close to 5,000 adolescents from 2010 to 2011, and looked into the importance of parental control in limiting alcohol intake by their teen kids.
Based on the study findings, the research team believes that proper parenting plays a key role in preventing teen alcohol abuse, more than any alcohol awareness program designed for kids. “Given that adolescence is often a critical period for the beginning of alcohol use, and that alcohol harms are not confined to children from so-called ‘problem’ families, support for adolescent parenting – rather than alcohol awareness for parents – may be a more beneficial target for public policy aimed at young people’s health behaviour,” McCann added.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that making your kids aware of alcohol abuse isn’t important. In fact, parents are encouraged to discuss alcohol to kids early.
Having a tan may not be as harmful as it sounds, but a new study discovered a potential link between indoor tanning and substance abuse.
The study, the findings of which were recently published in the JAMA Dermatology, based its findings on a survey of more than 12,000 high school students in the state of Colorado. The survey questionnaire asked the students if they underwent an indoor tan at least once last year and if they used drugs and alcohol over the same period.
According to a news report, results showed that about 7 percent had indoor tanning during the past year, with female teens using tanning salons roughly twice more than males. Out of the group who underwent indoor tanning, roughly two-thirds admitted to have used marijuana at least once in their lifetime. In comparison, only 35 percent of students who never had a tan within the past year used marijuana.
In other substances, steroid use in students was pegged at 21 percent of indoor tanners compared to only 2 percent in the other students. Daily cigarette use was admitted by 10 percent of the indoor tanning group, which is significantly higher than the 2 percent of the non-tanning group. In terms of gender, female students were drawn more to ecstasy and prescription drugs, while the men prefer heroin and steroids.
Teen drinking may be a lingering and growing problem in the U.S., but the problem is escalated in countries where alcohol is standard fare.
Ireland is known for rum and other kinds of alcoholic beverages, and so it may not be a surprise to learn that 64 percent of the 13-to-17 age group in the country admit to drink alcohol. This was revealed by Alcohol Action Ireland, a charity organization in the country dedicated to alcohol-related issues.
According to its report entitled “Alcohol Marketing and Young People’s Drinking Behaviour in Ireland,” Alcohol Action Ireland revealed the following findings: “53% reported having been drunk at least once, 41% reported having been drunk in the last month; 37% reported engaging in binge drinking in the last month; and 50% reported that they drink regularly (every month).”
In terms of advertising, 72 percent of the kids said that they saw an alcohol ad via social media. Meanwhile, 91 percent said they were exposed to offline marketing, and 61 percent own merchandise from alcohol brands. “These findings clearly indicate that the more intense the exposure, the greater the risk of drinking alcohol and engaging in risking drinking behaviours. Given that these findings echo previous studies, coupled with the vulnerability of young people to alcohol, there is a clear need for immediate action on alcohol marketing regulation,” said Dr. Michal Molcho, one of the proponents of the study.
Data for the study were obtained from 686 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 enrolled in 16 schools. The study was conducted by the Health Promotion Research Centre at the National University of Ireland.