Teen Alcohol Use
What starts as a casual get-together where friends meet up, share jokes and down a few beers usually ends up with many teens getting addicted to alcohol. In the end there are no friends, no jokes and no casual conversations. All that is left is a constant craving for alcohol along with deteriorating health. Yes, alcohol use among teens is touching the highest levels with an estimated 3 million teens addicted. The sad truth is that most of these teens cannot overcome this addiction on their own.
Failed relationships, broken homes, constant mood swings and a turbulent personal life are a few consequences of alcohol abuse. Many times teens do not realize that they have crossed the line between drinking responsibly and binge drinking. Dependence on alcohol is also attributed to the following:
- Peer pressure
- Family problems
- Lack of social interaction
- Inferiority complex
The teenage years are a stage of life where there are more questions in a teenager’s mind than answers. The excitement of trying new things, gaining acceptance, and attention seeking often steer teens towards alcohol. Most think that consuming alcohol is the “IN” thing and that it’s “COOL”. Teenagers who do not consume alcohol are treated as outcasts and shunned by others. This leads to severe depression and an inferiority complex. This is the stage where teenagers are most vulnerable to alcohol abuse.
Excessive alcohol addiction among teens may lead to the following consequences:
Road rage and accidents
– A large number of accidents caused by teens are a result of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Innocent motorists or bystanders are also at a higher risk due to this. Most of these accidents are fatal and result in death or a lifelong disability.
– Alcohol addiction causes depression and anxiety and can lead to suicidal tendencies. Teens under the influence of alcohol are more susceptible to suicide as they cannot control their emotions and thought process.
Sexual abuse and unsafe sex
– Research shows that sexual abuse including rape often occurs among teens under the influence of alcohol. Teens also indulge in unsafe sex under the influence of alcohol increasing the risk of spreading and contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as AIDS.
Alcohol is directly responsible for the high number of teenage deaths due to various factors. It is high -time that parents and friends take an active part in helping teenagers overcome this addiction. Listening to their problems without being judgmental, better understanding and making them feel loved and cared for can help teenagers lead an alcohol free life.