Posts Tagged teenage alcohol drinking

Alcohol Named the Gateway Drug to Other Substance Use

If you’re worried about your kids’ potential to abuse marijuana or illegal substances, perhaps, what you need to do as early as now is to keep them off alcohol. At least, that’s what researchers suggested following a new study that reveals alcohol as the first substance to be tried by students.

teenage alcohol drinkingThe researchers obtained data from Monitoring the Future study on more than 14,500 high school students from 120 schools across the United States. They checked for use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, amphetamines, tranquilizers and other narcotics, and found that alcohol, not marijuana, triggers drug abuse among teenagers.

Although the study did not clearly describe how drug abuse actually starts, it provided some idea about a good intervention program to keep children from becoming long-term drug abusers.

Adam Barry, an assistant professor and researcher in the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida, said ” By recognizing the important predictive role of alcohol and delaying initiation of alcohol use, school officials and public health leaders can positively impact the progression of substance use. I am confident in our findings and the clear implications they have for school-based prevention programs. By delaying and/or preventing the use of alcohol, these programs can indirectly reduce the rate of use of other substances.”

Alcohol is widely available and has become a staple in many social gatherings. Unlike other substances, such as marijuana and cocaine, alcohol is considered by many as less harmful, forgetting the fact that it can be as addictive as other drugs of abuse. Still, the researchers say that parents should prevent teenagers from drinking and that increasing zero-tolerance policy at home is best to help prevent adolescent’s alcohol use.

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Negative Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse That Every Teenager Should Know

Alcoholic beverages are familiar sights in nearly all social gatherings. For many years, people have been drinking alcohol for several different reasons, such as to celebrate an occasion, to achieve a sense of euphoria, to cultivate group relationships, to deal with some personal problems, or to forget conflicts within the family. Although some of the side effects of alcohol drinking are temporary, others can be long-term and may only show later in life. Among the health risks of drinking alcohol include:

alcohol drinking in teensDisease: Alcohol abuse can increase your chances of contacting diseases like cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, throat cancer, and breast cancer. It is also believed that heavy alcohol drinking can cause some psychological disorders, as well as sex-related problems, such as impotence.

Pregnancy Issues: Expecting mothers are usually advised by doctors to stop drinking alcohol for their own safety, as well as that of the fetus’ in their womb. There is no safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy. Pregnant women who drink alcohol are exposing their unborn child to the risk of acquiring Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Syndrome – one of the common causes of mental retardation and whose effects can be irreversible.

Stress: There was a study that link alcohol consumption in teenagers to social isolation. The researchers found that teens drinking alcohol often feel lonely and see themselves as social outcasts in schools. It’s important to understand that you can still live a happier life even if you are not under the influence of alcohol. Depression and mood swings are also very common occurrences in individuals who often go on drinking spree.

Legal Problems: Alcohol drinking is one of the top reasons behind road accidents in teenagers. If you are in the habit of drinking, it’s very likely that at one point or another you are bound to experience some legal problems that can potentially take a heavy toll on your life. Statistics show that among college students under 21 alone, 430,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

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