Early Drinking Puts Kids at Greater Risk For Alcohol Abuse Later In Life
Let’s face it. Alcohol is a recreational drug that is socially accepted. There are commercials for it that play on every commercial break of every American sporting event dating back to our Grandpa’s days. It is served at parties, weddings, holidays, and almost every social gathering these days. It’s what draws people into dance clubs on the weekends.
However, the fact remains that it is a dangerous drug and highly addictive. There are many people in the US that are binge drinkers and do so often. What leads to binge drinking? A recent study shows that one factor is drinking at a young age. People are much more likely to become alcohol abusers because a parent or friend bought them alcohol at an early age.
Are Parents To Blame?
Parents are actually fueling the problem by allowing or even assisting their children in drinking alcohol. It has become so socially acceptable that this is the new norm. In decades past, parents would often explain to their kids the dangers of alcohol and statistics show the difference.
Even though underage drinking is illegal, 11 percent of America’s alcohol is consumed by people ages 12 to 20 years of age. Of those underage drinkers, 90 percent are binge drinking.
Another recent survey showed that 42 percent of high school students drank alcohol in the past 30 days. That 24 percent were binge drinking in the past 30 days. Another 10 percent drove after drinking, while 28 percent rode in a car of someone who had been drinking.
Drinking Leading To Other Dangers
An English paper recently reported the link to alcohol and violence in young women. The number of teenage girls involved in gangs and other violent actions in Britain has been on the rise and it has been linked to early alcohol use by these young girls.
Another problem that the paper report is that gangs are sexually exploiting these young girls. According to the story, 6,000 girls were being sexually exploited by gangs in Britain last year. Alcohol played a key role in that number being as high as it is.
There are other varying degrees of problems associated with alcohol. Here are some of the dangers that parents should be informing their children about. Alcohol abuse can cause any of these issues:
- Academic issues like poor grades and trouble concentrating.
- Social problems, such as fighting with peers.
- Arrests for drunk driving or hurting someone while drunk.
- Sickness, like hangovers or illnesses.
- Unwanted sexual experiences.
- Physical and sexual assault.
- A higher risk for suicide and homicide.
- Alcohol-related car accidents and other injuries, like burns, collisions, or drowning.
- Gateway to other drugs.
- Changes in brain development that can have effects later in life.
- Death from alcohol poisoning.
The bottom line is just this: people who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to have alcohol dependence and/or abuse later in life than individuals who begin drinking at or after 21 years of age, according to studies.
Please contact us if you or anyone you know is struggling with an alcohol problem to find out how we can help.