Alcoholism is an unremitting disease that makes the body reliant on alcohol. When a person is obsessed with alcohol, unable to control how much he drinks and gets upset when alcohol is not readily available are the symptoms of ‘Alcoholism.’
Alcoholics, however, do not plan to get drunk; their drinking is an irrepressible urge. Starting drinking as a teenager can result in a greater risk of developing long-term health conditions in later life. The bodies of teenagers are still growing, and alcohol can harm their development.
In minor cases this will cause the slurring, overwhelming and sickness associated with being drunk. But the consequences can be much more rigorous. Statistics show that around 5,000 teenagers are admitted to hospital every year for alcohol-related reasons. Short-term memory skills were evaluated in alcohol-dependent and nondependent adolescents age 15 and 16.
The other effects of alcohol on teenagers are:
• Alcohol plays a big part in disruptive behavior, offense and brutality. Alcohol is involved in nearly half of all violent deaths involving teens.
• Statistics show that after drinking, 11% of young people engaged in unprotected sex and 11% again claimed to regret that sexual encounter. Drinking alcohol can make teenagers forget all about safe sex.
• Drinking alcohol may also cause cancer, liver disease, heart disorders and impotence in later life.
• Teens that have experienced alcohol withdrawal tend to have difficulties with memory.
Aside from the fact that underage drinking is illegal, it poses a high risk to both the individual and society. Ecological factors may also be involved, especially in alcoholic families, where children may start drinking earlier because of easier access to alcohol in the home, family reception of drinking and lack of parental supervision.
It is very important that parents should keep track of their children activities, set a good example, and encourage healthy alternatives to alcohol. According to a recent survey of preteens, the availability of enjoyable, alcohol-free activities is a big reason for deciding not to use alcohol.
Research strongly shows that active, supportive involvement by parents and guardians can help teens avoid underage drinking and prevent later alcohol misuse.