Teen drinking is a serious concern, and it can have lifelong consequences. It leads to car accidents, violent behavior, alcohol poisoning, and other health problems.
Parents need to stress the importance of the negative consequences attributed to alcohol. Teens are less likely to drink when they know the dangers of alcohol and binge drinking.
Who Does Teen Drinking Affect?
Teen drinking affects adolescents from all walks of life. Teens assume that “drinking is safer than substance abuse.”
Alcohol is easy to access. “By eighth grade, nearly one-third of young people have already experimented with alcohol. By the last year of high school this number goes up to almost three-quarters.”
Teen Drinking Leads to Life-Threatening Accidents
When teens drink, they lower their inhibitions. It’s frightening to note, “10% of teens say they have driven a car while under the influence. And, nearly a quarter admit to being a passenger with a drunk driver.”
Teen drinking can lead to serious accidents, including:
- Drunk-driving accidents
- Serious legal consequences
- Transmission of sexually transmitted diseases
- Unplanned pregnancies
- Sexual assault
- Victim of violence
- Death by alcohol poisoning
The Social and Emotional Consequences of Teen Drinking
Teens who drink “are at a greater risk for mental health problems and emotional issues.”
Teenage drinking can lead to:
- Self-harm, like cutting
- Attempted suicide
- Sexually active before they are ready
- Being sexually assaulted
- Social problems
- Engaging in violence
- Less likely to take part in social activities and extracurricular activities at school
- Poor grades/academic standing
- Depression and anxiety
- Develop alcohol problems later in life
How to Help a Teen Who Drinks
The best way to help with teen drinking is to “offer help and education.” Share articles about the negative impact alcohol can have on a teen’s mind and body.
Let your teen know that alcohol abuse leads to:
- Harmful effects on developing brains and bodies.
- Drinking interferes with good judgment.
- Teenagers who use alcohol and tobacco are at a greater risk of using other drugs.
- Teenagers who drink are more likely to develop behavioral problems.
- Underage drinking is illegal.
If the situation is dire, parents need to take the next step. Consult your family doctor or local health care professional. It’s never too late to help your teen recover and live a healthy life.
To learn more about how to help your teen, click here.