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ALCOHOL USE IN TEENS

By March 16, 2008 No Comments

ALCOHOL USE IN TEENS

Did you know that there has been an increase in the number of teens ages 11 – 15 who drink alcohol on a regular basis? The scarier thought is the fact that the amount of alcohol they drink in one setting is increasing as well. This phenomenon attributes to more teen drinking and driving incidents, suicides, sexual assaults, and high risk sex. Teens already have a hard time evaluating situations maturely and the introduction of alcohol only makes their decision making that much worse. They find themselves in situations they might not otherwise get themselves into. The more alcohol they consume overtime, the more the teen stands to impair their ability to properly react in situations, remember basic things, and their overall cognitive abilities are impaired, possibly for life. By exposing the brain to alcohol during the growing years of adolescence, teens are interrupting their brains’ development and opening themselves up to long term risks of liver damage, pancreatitis, cancers and possibly shrinkage of their brain.

Intervention at an early age is a must. It is reported that teens who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence at some time in their lives as opposed to those who have their first drink at age 20 or older.1

Here are a few other statistics:

The rate of fatal crashes involving alcohol in drivers 16-20 is more than twice that of drivers 21 and over.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people ages 14-25. Alcohol increased the chances of those attempts.

About 10% of high school female students reported being raped and research suggests that alcohol use in the attacker and/or victim increases the chances of this occurring.

In 1995, 318 people between the ages of 15-24 died from alcohol poisoning alone. I’m sure the amount has increased since then.

Take a stand now to make these statistics decrease and with hope be eradicated…be present, intervene, and educate yourself…Never think your child or one that you know would never drink or use drugs. It’s a scary reality we cannot ignore.

Amy Lawhorn
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1The Health effects of Teen alcohol use, https://teendrugabuse.us

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