What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol is the substance most commonly abused by teenagers and young adults, and it is widely accessible in our society. Teens often see their older family members, role models, and celebrities using alcohol, but don’t realize the long-term consequences of using at a young age.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), teens who start drinking alcohol by the age of 13 have a 43% chance of becoming alcoholics, as opposed to only a 10% chance if they wait until they are 21 to drink. But when it comes to alcohol, most teens don’t wait: 58.2% of American high school seniors admitted to using alcohol within the past year, in a 2015 survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Although it can seem innocent to parents who drink responsibly, alcohol can lead to other high-risk behaviors, negative physical effects, and even death. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2013 found that about 4,300 people under the age of 21 die each year from injuries involving underage drinking. Young persons’ bodies are still developing and the stress on their livers, stomach, and intestines is greater than that of an adult’s. Alcohol poisoning, vomiting, and unconsciousness can occur even when a teen didn’t set out to drink excessively.
Effective alcohol treatment begins by first assessing the risk involved in stopping, and taking appropriate steps for a safe withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal can be lethal. If alcohol detox is necessary, a referral to a hospital or detox program will be made and completed before outpatient treatment can begin. If you think your teen may be abusing alcohol or other substances, don’t hesitate to seek help. If you’re unsure or have specific questions, call today to speak with one of our licensed counselors: 702-267-6277. Vencer Youth Services provides free assessments and our team is standing by to answer your questions and support you and your family.
“58% of high school seniors admitted to using alcohol”
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