Tag Archive | Alcohol Abuse

Spring Break: Teen Drinking Facts

TeenDrinking5Spring break is around the corner and unfortunately many teens look forward to getting away and have a few drinks–maybe a few too many!  Not to mention many are underage to be consuming alcohol.

You probably see and hear a lot about alcohol—from TV, movies, music, and your friends. But what are the real facts about underage alcohol use?

Myth Alcohol isn’t as harmful as other drugs.
FACT Alcohol increases your risk for many deadly diseases, such as cancer. Drinking too much alcohol too quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can kill you.

Myth Drinking is a good way to loosen up at parties.
FACT Drinking is a dumb way to loosen up. It can make you act silly, say things you shouldn’t say, and do things you wouldn’t normally do (like get into fights).

Myth Drinking alcohol will make me cool.
FACT There’s nothing cool about stumbling around, passing out, or puking on yourself. Drinking alcohol also can cause bad breath and weight gain.

Myth All of the other kids drink alcohol. I need to drink to fit in.
FACT If you really want to fit in, stay sober. Most young people don’t drink alcohol. Research shows that more than 70 percent of youth age 12 to 20 haven’t had a drink in the past month.1
 
Myth I can sober up quickly by taking a cold shower or drinking coffee.
FACT On average, it takes 2 to 3 hours for a single drink to leave the body. Nothing can speed up the process, not even drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, or “walking it off.”

Myth Adults drink, so kids should be able to drink too.
FACT A young person’s brain and body are still growing. Drinking alcohol can cause learning problems or lead to adult alcoholism. People who begin drinking by age 15 are five times more likely to abuse or become dependent on alcohol than those who begin drinking after age 20.2
 
Myth Beer and wine are safer than liquor.
FACT Alcohol is alcohol. It can cause you problems no matter how you consume it. One 12-ounce bottle of beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine (about a half cup) has as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Alcopops—sweet drinks laced with malt liquor—often contain more alcohol than beer!

Myth I can drink alcohol and not have any problems.
FACT If you’re under 21, drinking alcohol is a big problem: It’s illegal. If caught, you may have to pay a fine, perform community service, or take alcohol awareness classes. Kids who drink also are more likely to get poor grades in school and are at higher risk for being a crime victim.

Sources

Parents Universal Resource Expert (Sue Scheff) Preventing Teen Drug Addiction

Preventing Drug Abuse: What Can You Do?

If you suspect your teen is doing any form of gateway drug, it’s important to talk to them about it as soon as possible. Again, it is important to not yell or threaten. You will no doubt be scared and angry, but so is your teen. If they feel as though you don’t support them or they can’t talk to you, scaring them will only make the problem worse! Try to remain calm.

Assure your teen they can trust you and that you love them and want to help them. Explain harmful side effects of drugs, but assure them it’s not too late to get help, and that you will support them. Tell them about any changes you’ve noticed in their behavior and how those changes make you feel. Let them talk to you, and listen to them. Do not judge them or criticize them.

The first you need to do in order to prevent your teen from abusing drugs, alcohol or tobacco is to take seriously the threat posed by these substances to your child. You have to take seriously the risks posed because this will ultimately be the one catalyst that will allow you to talk to your teen about the problem in a frank and open manner. By taking to heart the importance of the matter at hand, you will be in a better position to urge your teen to do the same. You do not need to be harsh or judgmental with them. It is a better strategy to be as supportive as you can. If you insist on being hostile and angry with your teen, you will likely succeed in pushing them away form you and deeper into possible addiction.

Any treatment plan you decide upon for your teen should be dictated by the substances they abuse and how much they abuse them. For example, to send a child to a strict military-style school because they have tried drugs or alcohol a handful of times is something of an overreaction. Many times if a teen’s experiments with drugs, alcohol and tobacco are minor, a good open talk with them can convey all the information you want, and achieve very positive results in terms of future behavior.

Of course, the story is entirely different if your teen has become addicted to drugs and alcohol. In this instance, a detoxification program may be in order, along with a treatment regimen that helps wean the child off of drugs and replaces that with medicine. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of prescription medicine treatment for substance abuse is greatly enhanced when combined with one-on-one and/or family counseling.

One thing to remember if treatment becomes the order for the day when addressing your child’s substance issues is that relapse after treatment is common. This does not mean that you or your teen have failed any part of the recovery process. Addiction is extremely difficult to overcome and the most important thing to keep in mind is to take things one step at a time.

For more information on Teen Drug Use.

By Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts