Effects Of Alcohol On Teenage Brain: Why You Need To Prevent It
We’ve always heard the words, “Drink Moderately,” after each liquor commercial because we know it rings with truth. According to the Substance Abuse Administration of US, teenagers as young as 15 years old and below took a glug of alcohol in their lives. Binge drinking of liquor comes with risks, and not to say, long and harmful effects of alcohol on teenage brain.
Teens who started drinking alcohol at a young age would likely become alcoholics. They don’t just take a few sips - they drink plenty over a short period. Many researchers claimed that the bodies of these kids aren’t yet ready to handle that kind of amount. Intoxication does not only cause behavioral problems but also damages brain functions which are deemed irreversible.
Why Teens Drink Alcohol?
People can’t point out the major reason why teens drink to their heart’s content. Every kid is different, and each has their own story to tell on how they started drinking. As parents, you should look out for signs that tell your child is drinking alcohol. From family relationships to socializing, these are the common reasons why they drink to a stupor.
1. Family problems and escape
Families with unhealthy relationships will bore children who are most likely to abuse the substance than other average households. Alcohol here serves as an escape if the teen can’t find anything or anybody to vent out his or her frustrations. The drink gives instant gratification and quick relief of the emotions they are feeling.
2. Parents’ attitude to alcohol
If alcohol is served at home and in front of children, then, they would be most likely to drink it when they become teens. Liberal families would raise liberal children, and in turn, offers more chances for their kids to abuse the drink. Meanwhile, those families who teach their children about alcohol or limit the number of liquor intake would drink less than in most situations.
When your kid’s peers start drinking, and he’s the only one left who’s not, it pressures him to take a sip as well. Like adults, teens drink to socialize. It created an unspoken agreement in a group to drink alcohol to fit in the social circle.
Teens look up to their idols highly, because their current phase in life is riddled with self-doubt. Teens often experience identity crisis and would follow suit to the person they like the most. Be it their fathers, teachers, actors, or the kid next door; if they see them drinking, they will also do the same.
5. Wastes idle time
A restless teen will likely take hold of a bottle of alcohol than those who mind their personal endeavors. Where they can be in an organization or project, some kids find themselves with groups that lead them to drink alcohol and promise them the fun and adventure they will all be having.
Effects Of Alcohol On A Teen’s Brain
Intoxication would make them feel fuzzy and do dangerous things that they don’t mean to do. For example, alcohol can cause reckless driving, one-night stands, and getting in fights. However, excessive drinking can cause one’s brain to deteriorate and impair functions - more importantly, to coordination, memory, and thinking capacity.
While adults can seemingly handle the effects of alcohol, teenagers cannot. Their developing organs and brain cells will not be able to cope with binge drinking. Thus, it can disrupt the growth and formation of nerve cells that link to other cells in the body. Alcohol hampers down this link, which is why most people get to feel more lethargic and fuzzy.
The two primary parts of the brain which take the biggest hit when one drinks alcohol are the prefrontal lobe (decision making, language, and control) and hippocampus (learning and memory).
Here are some effects of alcohol on teenage brain.
What does alcohol do?
- Shortens memory
- Slows down learning and ability to pick up new information
- Poor nerve and muscle coordination and control
- Makes bad plans, decisions, and judgment
- Poor eyesight
- Weight gain
When people start drinking alcohol early in their lives, the greater their risks are to brain damage. It also induces other alcohol-related problems like liver damage, loss of motor movement, and impairment brain cells which will continue greatly in their 20s.
How To Overcome Alcohol Addiction
If your child tends to abuse the substance, then, as a parent, you must step in and know what’s causing it. Never let your teen stop drinking alcohol by themselves. The sudden withdrawal can make them fidgety, paranoid, or crave even more. Overcoming alcohol addiction does not happen overnight. It’s a gradual process that starts with admitting that the user needs help.
As parents, you play the most significant role in letting your child overcomes his or her drinking problem. They have more power and influence over their kids’ drinking habits. These are the ways adults can assist curbing their teens’ alcoholism.
1. Recognizing the problem
When your teen realizes that he or she has a drinking problem, then take it a sign that your child is ready to give up consuming alcohol. You can try talking if he or she has a problem facing in the family, school, or friends. Depending on the nature of the issue, parents can have their kids try detoxification as an in-patient or out-patient in a substance facility.
2. Keep away from alcohol influencers
If your kid’s friends are the ones who invite him or her to chug alcohol, try talking to your child if he can avoid going out with them. If your teen needs a break from alcohol, he needs to be away from temptations. Maybe one day, your child will cut out from his toxic relationships.
3. Join a treatment group or seek help from facility centers
It is advised that one should never have self-treatment. Hysterics can creep in and will ruin your sobriety. You can have your child checked-in with treatment groups or have in-patient care from substance control centers. What’s important here is to seek professional help from people who can curb alcoholism.
4. Be healthy
Get your kid to exercise and eat healthily. You’ll be surprised at the changes you can see for days. Getting hearty and hale can help curb alcohol cravings. Taking physical activities, they love doing can make them quit vices because they channel most of their mind and energy there. Also, your teens can get to meet with people who are like-minded in being healthy. Exercise and proper diet can reduce anxiety and depression and would boost your child’s self-esteem.
5. Set goals and rewards
You can talk to your kid in achieving an alcohol-free week, and you can reward him or her with a trip to the movies, or somewhere you guys can camp together, or even travel abroad if your teen has improved a lot. But remember; be mindful of your rewards. Don’t let your teen be dependent on rewards!
Living An Alcohol-free Life
There are serious effects of alcohol on teenage brain. The loss of major functions like thinking or decision-making can be detrimental to teens’ performances on their family life, school, careers, or more. Liquor has severe effects on a developing body and would thus; hamper the growth of organs and body functions.
Teens can easily be persuaded to drinking alcohol at such a young age. You must be ready to read the signs that point to your child of becoming an alcoholic. If you can prevent them from drinking early, the greater the chances they can renew their life.