When a teenager is exhibiting odd behavior, it can be a concern for any parent. Although the changes to a teenager’s behaviors may not always be related to substance abuse, it is important to recognize the dangers that are associated with alcohol abuse and to discuss those concerns with your children. Drinking alcohol at a young age can increase the risk of dying or experiencing severe health concerns.
Engaging in Risky Behaviors
According to Kid’s Health, almost 80 percent of high school students have tried drinking alcohol at least one time. When a teenager abuses alcohol, he or she may engage in risky or dangerous behaviors that can cause injuries or even death.
Science Daily reports that alcohol can alter the chemistry of a teenager’s brain and may even cause long-term effects that persist into adulthood. Regular alcohol abuse during the teen years can alter an individual’s ability to make decisions and increases the risk of abusing alcohol in the future.
According to the National Institutes on Health, teenagers who abuse alcohol are more likely to engage in behaviors that will give them a thrill. They may try other substances, engage in unsafe sexual activities or behave in impulsive ways. Depending on the behavior, the risk of death or severe injury can vary.
Using alcohol at a young age increases the risk of problem drinking in the future, says Science Daily. When an individual abuses alcohol on a regular basis, he or she may engage in binge drinking. Help Guide explains that binge drinking means that the individual is drinking five or more drinks in one sitting. For a girl, binge drinking occurs after she has had at least four drinks at one time.
Alcohol poisoning occurs when an individual drinks a large amount of alcohol in a very short period of time, says Help Guide.
Signs of alcohol poisoning include:
- Clammy skin
- Falling into unconsciousness
- Breathing that is slow and halting
- A strong scent of alcohol
It is important to seek immediate medical attention when a teenager is showing signs of alcohol poisoning. If medical attention is not obtained within a timely manner, then there is a risk of death.
Accidents and Injuries
According to Kid’s Health, almost 1/2 of all drowning deaths among teenaged boys are related to alcohol abuse. Furthermore, the risk of accidents or injuries that are associated with alcohol can be very high.
Kid’s Health explains that alcohol can impact an individual’s coordination and mobility. A teenager may stumble, fall or even get into fights so that injuries occur. In the worst case, that lack of coordination and staggering may result in slip and fall accidents, harming others by tripping on them or even slipping into a pool and drowning.
Alcohol is a depressant and it can have a negative impact on self-image, self-confidence and emotional health. Some individuals can develop feelings of depression or severe anxiety after abusing alcohol. Kid’s Health reports that there is an increased risk of suicide when a teenager abuses alcohol.
There are a variety of risks associated with alcohol abuse, particularly when it is abused by a teenager. Alcohol can alter the way that an individual thinks or behaves.
In the case of children and teenagers, it may even change the way that the brain develops. It is important to discuss the risks of alcohol abuse with any teenager in your family to help reduce the risk of an alcohol-related death or injury.
To lear more about how alcohol can increase the likelihood of teenage death and how we can help, contact us at 877-466-0620.