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Alcoholism And Teens

Chronic alcohol consumption is very common among teenagers. There are many risk factors associated with teen alcoholism. These include lack of parent-child communication, low parent supervision, severe or inconsistent parental discipline, family conflicts and history of alcoholism in the family. Studies showed that teenage girls who have a drinking problem usually have alcoholic mothers.

Aside from family risk factors, there are also individual risk factors such as emotional instability, problems managing impulses and thrill-seeking behavior. Peer pressure is another factor that contributed to the high rate of alcoholism among teenagers.

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Effects of Heavy Alcohol Drinking on Teenagers

Some of the identified dangerous effects of chronic alcohol drinking on teenagers are the following:

  • A decrease in the ability to pay attention
  • Violent deaths. There is a high statistical rate on underage drinking and car accidents.
  • Suicide. Many teenagers who attempted suicide are usually under the influence of alcohol.
  • Promiscuity. Teenagers who are heavy drinkers are more likely to indulge in promiscuous sexual relations.
  • Lastly, excessive drinking of alcohol can lead to the use of illegal drugs.
  • Symptoms of Teen Alcoholism:

Some of the common symptoms of teen alcohol abuse are breaking curfew, lying, mood swings, physically or verbally abusive to others, stealing, lack of interest in their studies and erratic behavior.

Some Treatment Options for Teen Alcoholism

There are several family intervention options that can help teen alcoholics. They include group therapy, multifamily educational intervention, and multidimensional family therapy. Another effective option to treat teen is a long-term residential treatment for alcoholism, which involves addressing issues that have pushed teenagers to indulge in excessive alcohol, such as peer relationships, family and educational problems.

Individual treatments may include relapse prevention, which involves methods to recognize and amend problem behaviors. Motivational enhancement therapy is also effective in encouraging alcoholic teenagers to actively join in the therapy with the goal of overcoming alcoholism. Another effective treatment option is stimulus control, which teaches teenagers to stay away or avoid situations that may tempt them to use alcohol.

What Parents Can Do to Prevent Teenagers’ Alcohol Use

Parents should take time to explain to their teenage children the negative and dangerous effects of alcohol. Maintaining open communication with their children is one of the most effective ways to prevent alcohol use among teenagers.

Adequate parental supervision can go a long way in ensuring that teenagers will stay away from alcohol. Parents should encourage their children to participate in extracurricular activities to channel their energy and time in more positive endeavors.

Reference: http://www.medicinenet.com/alcohol_and_teens/article.htm

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