What parents should know about underage drinking

Lifestyle | 2 May |

Drug or alcohol addiction isn’t a problem that only adults experience. Many young people may experiment with drugs or alcohol and become addicted to them too. Educate yourself and your children about what can happen when young people have alcohol addiction.

Know the Statistics

Statistics about alcohol use among teenagers are essential facts that every parent should know. Research has found that 11 percent of all alcohol consumption in the United States is by young people from the age of 12 to 20.

Also, binge drinking among young people is a serious problem. Binge drinkers are more likely to be between the ages of 18 to 34 years old, and those younger than 21 often consume large amounts of alcohol while binge drinking.

Know Its Health Effects

It is very important to know the effects of alcohol on young peoples’ minds and bodies. For instance, drinking affects the growth of the nervous system. Research has shown that in teenagers 16 or over who drink, several key areas of the brain are underdeveloped.

As such, alcohol use can also cause a young person to fall behind or fail in their studies. Alcohol interferes with a young person’s reasoning and judgment, so they do not make the best choices after they’ve been drinking.

It’s essential to know the effects of alcohol if you are a parent of teenagers.

Know It Causes Death

The leading cause of death among teenagers is unintentional accidents of which 73 percent are motor vehicle accidents. Statistics also show that out of all teenage drivers who died in a car accident, one out of five had been drinking.

Alcohol poisoning due to excessive or binge drinking is also prevalent among teenagers. Approximately 4,300 underage young people die every year due to excessive drinking.

Death due to driving drunk is preventable in every case as it is illegal to drink under the age of 21 in every state.

Know the Costs

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that alcohol consumption by young people cost the United States economy about $24 billion in 2010. In another study about the costs of underage drinking, research shows it can cost as much as $61.9 billion.

When they broke down the costs, a large percentage of them, about 67 percent, was the loss of quality of life. The study also shows that every dollar of societal harm outweighs the 90 cents in revenue that taxes from alcohol sales bring to the economy.

Know the Future Problems

People who start drinking at a young age are more likely to have alcohol or drug addiction issues when they get older. Alcohol can lead to experimenting with illicit drugs, and it can cause people to lose jobs, and break up families.

Parents should acquaint themselves with the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction, so they can get help for a child who may be drinking. They can look up counselors, rehab centers, and other programs that can help a young person get and stay sober.

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