Although the stereotypical alcoholics are often assumed to be middle-aged or adults, alcoholism among teenagers has always been a huge problem,which is only growing with each passing year.
For adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, alcohol has become a substance used regularly. Reportedly, about half of junior high and senior high school students drink alcohol on a regular, monthly basis while around 14% of adolescents have been under this influence at least once in the last year. While around 8% of teens admit that they binge drink, there are teens who also admit to using alcohol in combination with other addictive substances, often marijuana. For those who do not know what binge drinking means- it is the modern epithet for drinking alcoholic beverages with an intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. It is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dl. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in about 2 hours. The facts and figures are collected from the website of NIAAA (USA), an institute devoted towards studying and preventing the use of alcoholism across the globe. Started in America, now growing across the globe.
According to reports of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA),“The younger the children and adolescents are when they start to drink, the more likely they will be to engage in behaviours that harm themselves and others.” For example, frequent binge drinkers are more likely to use drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, have sex with six or more partners, and earn grades that are mostly poor in school.
Why do some adolescents drink?
As children move from adolescence to young adulthood, they encounter dramatic physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes. Developmental transitions, such as puberty and increasing independence have been associated with alcoholism. So, in a sense, not being an adolescent may be a key risk factor not only for starting to drink but also for drinking dangerously
Risk taking- Research shows the brain keeps developing well into the twenties, during which time it continues to establish important communication connections and further refines its functions. Scientists believe that this lengthy developmental period may help explain some behaviour, which is characteristic of adolescence-such as their propensity to seek out new and potentially dangerous situations. For some teens, thrill-seeking might include experimenting with alcohol.
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