As a teenager, there are likely to be many times when you feel a certain amount of pressure to drink alcohol. It may be that all your friends are doing it and they seem to be having a good time. Or it may be that you simply do not want to be left out at the parties and social gatherings you attend that increasingly seem to revolve around drinking.
For many teenagers, getting involved with alcohol is simply part of growing up, but for others, it can quickly become a serious problem. There are a number of factors that make it more likely for teenagers to develop problems with alcohol or even progress into full-blown alcoholism. The more aware you are of these factors, the better your chances of avoiding problems both during your teen years and later in life.
There is no single reason why teens start drinking. It may begin with simple curiosity or a desire to fit in with what your friends are doing, or it may begin because someone in your family drinks heavily and you simply want to emulate them.
For some people, this is nothing more than a passing phase, but for others it is a rite of passage and simply becomes a part of their social life as they get older, particularly if they go on to attend college. For a small proportion of people, alcohol can become a problem. The best way to ensure that you do not fall into this category is to be aware of the pressure and the dangers, and make changes to your life accordingly.
A major cause of teen alcoholism is peer pressure. Many teenagers – boys in particular – are incredibly competitive and will try to outperform one another at every possible opportunity. Drinking games may be very common at this age, and can help to foster the impression that drinking alcohol is not a serious matter.
If you are unable to drink legally, you may overindulge in private before heading out for the evening in a process known as “pre-drinking.” Typically, you and a group of friends will gather and share several different kinds of alcohol with the sole intention of feeling a “buzz” before heading off to a party or a club.
If everyone else is indulging, it can be extremely hard to resist joining in. The only way to avoid these situations completely is to ensure you do not spend time in the company of people who are going to get involved in such activities. This may seem harsh, but there may be no other option if you are constantly feeling extreme pressure from these people. If you are truly concerned about your drinking and fear your problem may be getting worse, this is one of the steps you can take to protect yourself.
If one of your parents or someone in your family is an alcoholic, this can have a huge effect on your relationship with alcohol. The chances of you becoming an alcoholic are substantially increased if the condition is already present in your family. This may mean that you decide to keep a close eye on your own drinking to ensure it does not become problematic. Alternatively, you may go a step further and decide to abstain from alcohol completely.
Alcohol abuse can destroy relationships with family and friends, and can also lead to life-threatening diseases. Many people who grow up in alcoholic households witness horrific acts of violence as well as emotional abuse. Seeing the consequences of alcoholism up close can either put you off drinking completely or push you towards emulating that behavior.
Issues With Alcohol
One thing many people who experience problems with alcohol struggle with is the social stigma attached to anyone who chooses not to drink. Society as a whole seems to celebrate and idolize people who drink, and this can often add to any pressure you are already feeling over your level of consumption.
Part of dealing with your problem will involve accepting alternative views of alcohol and becoming fully aware of the problems it can cause to your health and well-being. You also need to be aware of the effects your drinking can have on those around you, in particular your friends and family members. In many cases, the people who are closest to you will see changes brought about by alcohol addiction that you are unable to see yourself.
Alcoholism is often thought of as an adult-only problem, as this is how it is generally portrayed in the media. If you are struggling with drinking, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are plenty of resources and support groups that are aimed directly at teenagers. Many of these arrange group therapy sessions where you can talk through the issues you are facing with other teenagers who are in the exact same position. These groups can be a great source of comfort and are often the first step towards recovery.
Getting Help for Teen Alcoholism
Alcohol is widely available, socially accepted and legal for those 21 and up. These factors combine to make the chance of anyone becoming an alcoholic far higher than you might initially think.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, around half of all underage Americans have used alcohol. In addition, around two million people aged between 12 and 20 would consider themselves heavy drinkers. A further 4.4 million in the same age range are classified as binge drinkers.
Drinking during adolescence is one of the risk factors for developing alcoholism. The more you know about the dangers alcohol can present, the better positioned you are to protect yourself. A survey of more than 40,000 adults found that of those who began drinking before the age of 14, nearly half had become dependent on alcohol by the age of 21. For those who began drinking at or after the age of 21, only nine percent developed alcoholism.
If you’re finding yourself drinking too much or feeling like you have to drink, contact us today. We are here 24/7 to answer any questions you may have and help you take the first step to sobriety.
Impact of Alcohol, Tobacco And Drug Abuse on Youth
Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are affect youth negatively. Youth especially student's e.g. secondary and tertiary students abuse alcohol, tobacco and other Drugs. Drugs such as tobacco, cocaine and marijuana are the major drugs which students abuse or use. Youth may end up drinking alcohol and using drugs because of various situations or reasons e.g. youth especially school going drink alcohol, use tobacco and other drug as a result of peer pressure because they may want to feel grown up among their peers, some youth use drugs to relieve boredom and give themselves personal excitement, some use drugs to rebel and get violent without any fear of people or authority, some use drugs to experiment, some use drugs and drink alcohol because their parents also drink alcohol so they end up indulging in the practise as well, social background may also influence youths to use drugs and to drink alcohol e.g. if they are many drug dealers and bottle stores around its easier for youths to indulge in the use of this drugs and lastly some youth may drink alcohol and abuse drugs to feel pleasure and escape the pressures of life or to alter their view of reality. Youth who get into drugs may get it from a friend's friend, who also got it from his friend's friend and so on this is to say that drugs are not of easy access because they are illegal. At the end of this long line of friends is a dealer who is making money out of destroying young people futures. The use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs has negative impacts amongst the students who abuse this substances e.g. excessive alcohol consumption and the abuse of drugs are dangerous because alcohol and drug abuse can affect health and ability to function and think properly, almost every system in the body can be negatively affected by use of drugs and drinking of alcohol. Alcohol can cause cancer, liver disease, heart attacks and brain damage, to mention a few. Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use does not only affect youth especially students' health wise it also affects their academic performance, it also affect them financially, psychologically, physically and ultimately students may suffer some legal consequences. Youth more so teens, who engage in sexual intercourse and drug abuse including abuse of alcohol and tobacco, are more likely than youth who abstain from such activities to become depressed, have suicidal thoughts and or even attempt suicide.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND DIFFERENT DRUG USE
The use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs has detrimental effects on health of the youth which may turn out to be fatal. The type of drugs which students commonly use are Stimulants (drugs that produce alertness, high energy, more awake and confident e.g. cocaine, amphetamines, caffeine) and Hallucinogens (give strange and intense visions called hallucinations)
The scientific name for alcohol that people drink is ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Beer, wine, and liquor all contain ethyl alcohol. Other types of alcohol, like rubbing alcohol are poisonous if ingested. . Excess alcohol is the most common cause of preventable death. Alcohol is highly toxic to almost every organ in the body but when alcohol is taken in allowed limits amounts it is detoxified by the liver and therefore does little or no harm to the body. Alcoholic drinks contain ethyl alcohol and it is metabolized in the body to acetaldehyde. Both ethanol and acetaldehyde interfere with normal functioning of organs in the body including the heart and the liver and therefore if the liver and the heart get damaged disease occur which may eventually kill, teenagers maybe more prone to this effects in the youth as their organs are still developing thus toxic substances from alcohol damage their body organs.
When people drink too much, with time they risk becoming addicted to alcohol. This is called alcoholism, or alcohol dependence. It's a disease, and it can happen at any age, Common signs include, loss of control not being able to stop or cut down drinking, not feeling well after heavy drinking (upset stomach, sweating, shakiness, or nervousness), neglecting activities giving up or cutting back on other activities. Binge drinking happens when someone drinks more than four (for women) or five (for men) alcoholic drinks in about two hours, with the intention to getting drunk. Binge drinking is the most harmful type of drinking. It usually happens at teen or student parties
The dangers of smoking are so great, but because of it governments get a lot of tax money from tobacco and cigarettes manufacturers, they are less hesitant to ban it totally. Government and society is aware of the danger that is why they made it illegal for teens to possess and use cigarettes.
Smoking of tobacco can cause many with many diseases like respiratory and heart disease including, respiratory infections, lung cancer as well as cancer of the larynx, pancreas, stomach, & uterine cervix, bronchitis, emphysema and stillborn or premature children ().Smoking causes surges in the concentrations of catecholamine's (the stimulator chemical messengers of the autonomic nervous system) as well as increases in carbon monoxide in the blood. Both of these short- term effects can exacerbate existing heart disease, resulting, for instance, in attacks of angina (chest pain). Nicotine raises blood pressure and heart rate, requiring the heart to work harder. It also constricts the coronary arteries, thereby lessening the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. It also promotes irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias). Smokers are not the only people harmed by tobacco. Toxic fumes from cigarettes pose a health threat to all those around smoker's family, friends, and. Because the organic material in tobacco does not burn completely, smoke contains many toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide, nicotine, and tar. As a result of this exposure, smokers' children have more colds and flu, and they are more likely to take up smoking themselves when they grow up.
Smokers also affect other people as well e.g. passive smoking. This is the involuntary inhaling of smoke from other people cigarettes and we all suffer when we have people smoking around us. It is called second-hand smoking and it is known to be even more dangerous than smoking itself
Use of cocaine has increased among youth over the years, along with the myth that the drug is relatively safe, especially when it is sniffed rather than injected or smoked as 'crack.' In fact, no matter how it is used, cocaine can kill. It can disturb the heart's rhythm and cause chest pain, heart attacks, and even sudden death. These effects on the heart can cause death even in the absence of any seizures. Even in the absence of underlying heart disease, a single use of only a small amount of the drug has been known to be fatal. Cocaine use is not healthful for anyone, but especially for certain groups like the youth. Although the drug has been shown to impair the function of normal hearts, it seems even more likely to cause death in people with any underlying heart disease. When pregnant women use cocaine, they not only raise the likelihood of having a miscarriage, a premature delivery, or a low-birth-weight baby, but also of having a baby with a congenital heart abnormality, especially an atrial-septal or ventricular-septal defect.
Use of cocaine raises blood pressure, constricts blood vessels, and speeds up heart rate. It may also make blood cells called platelets more likely to clump and form the blood clots that provoke many heart attacks. In addition, cocaine's effects on the nervous system disrupt the normal rhythm of the heart, causing arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Recently, scientists have established that cocaine binds directly to heart muscle cells, slowing the passage of sodium ions into the cells. Cocaine also causes the release of the neurotransmitter nor epinephrine (nor adrenaline), a chemical messenger that stimulates the autonomic nervous system. Both changes can lead to arrhythmias. Heart attacks in young people are rare. However, when they do occur, cocaine is frequently the cause.
Cocaine is a highly addictive substance, and crack cocaine is substantially more addicting, as the drug is far more potent and is smoked. Users quickly develop a tolerance to crack cocaine, needing more of the substance to achieve the desired effects. Because the high from crack cocaine is so short-lived, users commonly smoke it repeatedly in order to sustain the high. This can lead to an even faster onset of addiction. Also, because crack cocaine works on the brain's system of reward and punishment, withdrawal symptoms occur when the drug's effects wear off. These symptoms can include depression, irritability, and extreme fatigue, anxiety, an intense craving for the drug, and sometimes even psychosis. Users will often keep using crack cocaine simply to avoid the negative effects of withdrawal
Marijuana harms in many ways, and kids are the most vulnerable to its damaging effects.
Use of the drug can lead to significant health, safety, social, and learning or behavioural problems, especially for young users. Making matters worse is the fact that the marijuana available today is more potent than ever. Short term effects of marijuana use include memory loss, distorted perception, trouble with thinking and problem solving, and anxiety.
Students who use marijuana may find it hard to learn, thus jeopardizing their ability to achieve their full potential. Long term effects include reduced resistance to common illnesses (colds, bronchitis, etc.), suppression of the immune system, growth disorders, increase of abnormally structured cells in the body, reduction of male sex hormones, rapid destruction of lung fibre's and lesions (injuries) to the brain could be permanent, Study difficulties: reduced ability to learn and retain information, apathy, drowsiness, lack of motivation, personality and mood changes, inability to understand things clearly.
ACADEMIC EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND DIFFERENT DRUG USE
Heavy drinking by students can lead to positive blood alcohol levels the next day, affecting whether or not they even get up for class and, if they do, the quality of how information is processed and ultimately stored. Sleeping off a buzz, a common practice, can interfere with the sleep cycle, resulting in an increase in anxiety, jumpiness, and irritability the next day, and fatigue the day after that
With evening use, marijuana has the same impact on sleep that alcohol has, throwing off the sleep cycle and impacting how a person feels for at least two additional days.
Marijuana suppresses neuronal activity in the hippocampus, resulting in problems with attention, memory, and concentration. There is increasing evidence that there is an impact to motivation following marijuana use. This could be due to the effect of THC in the body blocking the passage of nutrients through cells, the neuronal suppression in the hippocampus, or the decrease in energy accompanying the fatigue that follows night time use. Marijuana significantly increases heart rate, weakens the heart muscle, and affects blood pressure- the increase in heart rate can be a concern for someone already dealing with anxiety ( and particularly panic).
College students often forget why they are supposed to be in school. Is the purpose of university life to party all the time or to get the most out of the learning environment? Substance abuse can seriously affect academic performance. Aside from long-term addiction (or possible emptying you bank account) it can cause grades to plummet. How? Substance use affects you entire body, including your brain, in a variety of ways. Judgment is often the first attribute to be affected. You may find it difficult to make good decisions, to make them quickly or to be realistic when you make them. Suddenly, it becomes much easier to wait until the last minute to cram for that exam or to crank.
First of all, drugs and alcohol are a drain on people's finances. We have all experienced the stress associated with money at one time or another. For those who abuse drugs or alcohol, financial issues are further compounded by their need to feed their habit. They frequently accumulate debt, borrow or steal money from others, or choose their substance of choice over more important things like food for their family or utility bills. While no one wants to be homeless, in debt, or engaging in criminal activities, the financial impact of drug and alcohol abuse risks not only your ability to support yourself, but it can also destroy relationships. When you abuse drugs or alcohol, you are choosing that substance over everything else, including your loved ones. Whether they are suffering from your financial choices or have become mistrustful of you, you have placed a strain on your relationships, which can ultimately ruin those connections for good.
Families and others that rely on a sufferer of alcoholism are likely to experience problems related to financial troubles caused by drinking habits. The costs of alcohol increase as the alcoholic person builds tolerance to the drug in his or her system. This requires the person to take in ever-greater amounts of alcohol in order to feel the same effects. The psychological effects of this alcohol tolerance and dependency may cause the sufferer to become withdrawn and less supportive of colleagues, friends and family members. Sufferers may no longer attend social functions that do not allow drinking and may not be fully aware of their behaviour if attending functions where their drug of choice is allowed. A lack of networking and communication with peers may cause further financial problems if the sufferer loses promotion opportunities. Greater drains on income and lessened opportunities may cause undue troubles for others financially dependent on the sufferer, requiring a spouse or roommate to pick up extra hours or a second job to keep bills at a manageable level.
SOCIAL EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND DIFFERENT DRUG USE
Excessive alcohol use can affect all areas of a person's life, including family, work and personal relationships. Family problems: Arguments over someone's drinking can cause family and relationship problems that may lead to break up. Work problems: Drinking alcohol at work and hangovers can lead to poor performance and accidents at work, while illness can result in absenteeism. Legal problems: Drink-driving may lead to fines, loss of license and even imprisonment
Misbehaviour caused by alcohol can also have disastrous effects on a pupil's educational attainment, as well on performance in tests of intellect in later life. Compared with those pupils who have never truanted, pupils who had ever truanted from school had increased odds of having drunk alcohol in the last week (odds ratios of 2.24 for those who had truanted in the last year, 1.69 who had truanted previously). 6.5% of permanent exclusions of children from English state-funded secondary schools in 2010/11 were due to alcohol.
Women, especially young women, encounter special risks in groups of drinking friends and acquaintances. In many societies, a woman who drinks seems to signal that she is at least approachable, and to some men an intoxicated woman is by definition sexually available. Such concepts as 'acquaintance rape' and 'date rape' bear witness to recent concern with this problem. A large proportion of unwanted sexual advances are mediated by alcohol.
Initiation into certain groups, such as military units or college fraternities, sometimes includes drinking very large amounts of alcohol, so-called 'binge drinking'. This pattern of drinking entails high risks of accidental injury, violence and acute alcohol-poisoning. It has long been known that a heavy-drinking lifestyle in groups of friends is relatively common in the armed forces. More recently, the focus has been on such drinking patterns on college and university campuses and what they mean for the development of problem drinking patterns later in life.
A drug intervention is a structured, solution-oriented process undertaken to persuade someone who is abusing drugs to seek help in overcoming the addiction. Family, friends, and others involved in the person's life use the intervention to demonstrate the extent of the effects of drinking and related behaviours. A successful intervention is not a confrontation but an opportunity for an addicted individual to accept help in taking the first step toward recovery. Often, an interventionist is invited to serve as a guide and educator before, during, and after the intervention.
Some drug addicts can and do recognize the extent of the problems stemming from drug abuse and seek treatment without the need for an intervention. Most, however, are reluctant or unable to realize that drugs are responsible for the problems in their relationships, health, or work. They ignore the safety issues related to drinking and driving and other high-risk behaviours. It is common for addicts to deny that drugs are the source of the difficulties they face.
They may instead blame other people or circumstances in their lives. When that happens, an intervention can break through the denial and help these individuals clearly see the effects of their drug abuse on the people who matter most to them.
Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/free-essays/sociology/alcohol-tobacco-drug-abuse.php
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