Nowadays teenage alcoholism has become an intractable problem in both physical and moral aspects.
Any kind of alcohol harm the teenage organism, even if drunk in very small amounts. Alcohol has the most severe effect on the teenage organism, affecting personal traits of a teenager. There is a common opinion among the therapists, that even moderate alcohol consumption of alcohol by teenagers equals alcohol abuse in the older age.
Causes of a teenage alcohol abuse
According to statistics, teenage alcoholism, in most cases starts with the family celebrations. When a family have guests and they sit at the generously laid table and before meals start they pour alcohol in the glasses, give the toasts, have a drink and ony then start eating. Toasts follow one another during the dinner and the pause between them becomes shorter and shorter. When there are no toasts to give, people at the table just say “Cheers!” and have another drink.
From the child’s point of view, the whole celebration is formed around drinking vodka or wine. He thinks that adults got together not to socialize, but to have a drink. This is the key moment in forming a future teenager’s attitude to alcohol. The things are even more complicated in families, where children are lightheartedly given to taste sweet wine or beer. The child is taught the thought that it is tasty.
The next factor in increasing alcohol abuse among teenagers is that alcohol is cheap and available for them and bright and colorful stickers on it easily catch teenager’s eye.
At teenage age desire to imitate adults adds up to positive perception of alcohol. In teenage behavior, family traditions are often observed. From his not very large life experience a child learned that drinking is essential part of any family event and if there was not enough alcohol you have to rush and buy more. Watching adults, the child realizes that you have to drink a lot and in a gulp. That is why teenagers drink exactly like this – in big amounts, trying to drink everything they have managed to get. In addition, they have very little food if any, because food in not the main thing for them when they drink. Teenagers don’t have any fear of alcohol as well as experience of how to drink it. Bravado in front of the peers, on the other hand, is on its high.
Psychologically teenagers tend to copy their idols’ behavior and to look like them. Watching celebrities on TV, who drink alcohol and swear, teenagers long to behave exactly the same. This imitation is based on teenagers’ wish to look modern, fashionable and be the best, just like their idols.
Teenage conformism is not the last thing in developing alcoholism. They try to look like other teenagers in their social group. If there is a boy or a girl in a group where all members drink alcohol and they do not, soon they will be laughed at and ignored in the end.
Another cause of a teenage alcoholism is the fact that children are often neglected by the adults and brought up in the street. It often happens if a child is brought up in one-parent family and has to spend a lot of time on his own. Hyperprotection can also be the cause of teenage alcoholism. Trying to protect their child from any difficulties, parents do whatever the child wishes and thus bring up a weak and powerless creature, who in a different circumstances and not having any moral principles, easily influenced in the wrong way.
Getting used to drinking alcohol, a teenager changes his habits and values. All his spare time he spends with his drinking friends, listening to music and drinking alcohol. Teenagers spend much time in cafes and bars or just hang out in the streets. They don’t have neither time nor desire for self-improvement and intellectual work. Studying and reading the books is useless and boring obligation for those teenagers. According to statistics, 50% of alcohol addicted teenagers don’t read books at all.
Every year regular medical checkups of high school students under 16, find more and more teenagers, addicted to alcohol. Teenage alcoholism is forming during only 2 or 3 years of drinking different alcohol drinks, and beer is the absolute leader among what teenagers drink. It is should be pointed out that intense commercials of different kind of beer have led to increasing of beer alcoholism among young girls.
How alcohol can harm the young body
Drinking alcohol at the young age harms immature body a lot. It is generally known that drinking alcohol regularly damages the reproductive system of the organism. While men can recover after stop drinking for six months, women’s fertile function is destroyed. Thus infertility rate and rate of babies, born with defects to young women is rising.
Another serious complication from drinking alcohol by teenagers is liver cirrhosis. Disorders in liver and other internals functioning among teenagers can be caused by overconsumption of beer.
Another serious complication caused by drinking alcohol by teenagers is developing hepatitis and pancreatitis, cardio rhythm disturbance, endocrine system disorders, lungs diseases, blood pressure problems. Contagious diseases resistance is going down if teenagers abuse alcohol, they develop nervous and mental disorders as well.
The most obvious result of teenage alcohol abuse to people around them is emotional and willpower disorders. Teenagers who are addicted to alcohol become less active in working and social activity, their moral and ambitiousness are also affected by alcohol. Rudeness, lack of initiative and suggestibility are in the forefront. Teenagers who drink alcohol become tough and indifferent to their relatives. They become suspicious and indifferent to their peers who used to be their friends. Withdrawal and suspiciousness are usual to teenagers drinking alcohol.
Only among other drinking teenagers, they show off really moving care. They can get together and visit their friends, having treatment in a hospital. Teenagers like those easily come to an understanding and get on well with the same kind of people.
Affectedness, familiarity, impudence and bravado characterize teenage alcoholics. Very soon those treats turn into melancholy, helplessness and obedience. Teenage alcoholics struggle with making plans and prognosis, have weak reaction to past or future stimuli because they can’t abstract themselves from their immediate impulses.
Teenage alcohol abuse risk
Immature teenage organism gets used to large dose of alcohol very soon. That’s why there is a high risk of developing alcohol addiction by the teenager even if he often drinks light drinks. The danger is even higher because of the irresponsible attitude to alcohol. Many teenagers think that if they have a drink once a week nothing bad can happen to them. But there is a risk of developing alcoholism even if a teenager drinks three to four times a month. Such frequency of drinking alcohol considered alcoholism by the therapists.
Teenage alcoholism therapists ranged the frequency teenagers drink alcohol:
- Experimental drinking – when a teenager tastes alcohol once or twice;
- Episodic drinking – if a teenager drinks alcohol once or twice a month;
- Systematic drinking of alcohol by the teenager.
Since alcohol is a disease and not a bad habit, some people have predisposition to it. A person does not realize what is in his genes. According to the rigorous statistics, teenager whose father is and alcoholic, is at risk to develop alcohol addiction four times higher than his peers from non-alcoholic families.
For an adult the daily safe dose of alcohol in clear spirit should not be more than 40-60 gr (100-150 gr of approximately). If a person has more than that, he is at risk of developing alcohol addiction very soon. Especially if one is genetically predisposed to alcoholism. Talking about teenagers, any dose of alcohol is dangerous.
Feeling pleasure from drinking alcohol is a threatening symptom. It indicates that a person is predisposed to developing alcohol addiction.
Treating teenage alcoholism
Whatever the causes of teenage alcoholism are, the treatment should be started immediately, in order not to lose a person for a society in the future. Alcohol damages the brain and nervous system of young people and can even stop their organism development. It is hard to remember anything or think logically for drinking teenagers even being sober. Their personality appears on the downward path.
The treatment of teenage alcoholism is complicated by the fact that his alcohol addiction was formed during his pubertal period of life and not only his body is affected but his brain as well. At this period, a grown up child is watching everything through the glasses of his hormones burst, multiplied by alcohol effects.
How to treat teenage alcoholism, if many ways, used to treat adults do not work with the growing organism? For example, conditioned reflex therapy can have negative influence on a teenager’s organs and tissues state. Age restrictions make treatment and coding from alcohol addiction complicated.
Before starting alcohol addiction therapy of a teenager thorough examination of the whole organism should be done. All manipulations are made in a hospital or at home of an alcohol addicted teenager. There is no way you can try to treat teenagers yourself!
If a teenager drinks alcohol for a long time he should have detox therapy to clean up the body from toxic agents and alcohol breakdown products and to normalize liver and kidneys functioning. To improve mental health of a teenager therapists prescribe vitamins and nootropics.
The main method of alcohol therapy treatment for teenagers is psychotherapy which means coding a teenage alcoholic with the hypnosis methods. The same method, taking in account not stable mental state of teenagers, together with the medicine therapy is used to treat adult patients. Also in teenage alcoholism treatment maintenance and recovery therapies are usual as well as methods of changing teenager’s activity to more useful for him like doing sports and social work.
While in hospitals, teenagers stay in separate rooms to exclude the contact with the adult alcoholics.
Teenage alcoholism prevention
Nowadays teenage alcoholism prevention is a major thing. Firstly, it is implementing through educational and organizational methods. They aim to educate teenagers about how alcohol can harm their body and mind, to make a teenager avoid contact with drinking adults and peers. The main thing in this process is to stimulate teenagers’ interest in getting profession and getting a degree. Parents are also important in teenage alcohol prevention program. They need to remember that there are no harmless alcohol drinks for teenagers.