By Craig Rogers
Compared to other substances abused by teenagers, alcohol is actually at the top of the list. Even if you were to put together the other forms of substances abused, alcohol would still be more prone to abuse. It may all start with the period wherein your child is just entering into adolescence—here, he or she may be exposed to the experimentation that comes with growing up, and it is a risky kind! Strangely enough, there will be parents that are ironically comforted when they find out that alcohol is the substance their teenager is dabbling with. But this should not be the reaction a parent should have. One must keep in mind that alcohol is a substance when abused that can have adverse effects on a teenager’s body. During the period of adolescence your teenager’s body is still maturing and a substance such as alcohol can have its own effects on your child’s physical well-being.
A parent must realize that car crashes due to the abuse of alcohol have caused a majority of teenage deaths. The disoriented, unpredictable state that alcohol may leave a teenager in has actually been related to suicide attempts, acts of homicide, and even death by drowning. Teenagers who abuse alcohol have been observed to engage in sexual intercourse more frequently than teenagers who do not, and the onset of sexual activity occurs earlier in alcohol users as well. Engaging in unprotected sexual acts has also been observed in teens who drink. Females may actually become intoxicated faster than males. This is because the bodies of females generate a smaller amount of the enzyme in charge of metabolizing alcohol—alcohol dehydrogenase. A bigger percent of the alcohol taken in by a female then goes straight into her bloodstream.
Adolescents that are alcohol abusers are more often those that suffer from hostile crimes against them such as thievery, assault, and even rape. School-related problems are also more evident in teenagers with drinking problems. Their academics and behavior at school may suffer because of their abuse of alcohol. A scary statistic to come to terms with now is how teenagers that begin drinking at adolescence are actually 4 times more prone to becoming dependent on alcohol than an adult alcohol user.
If possible, keep your teenager from using alcohol for as long as you can. The longer, the better, for it will increase your teen’s chances of not acquiring any of the complications associated with abuse of the substance.