Preventing Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse

Drinking and Alcohol Misuse
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Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse: Nowadays, parents are worried about their teens using alcohol. But there are ways parents can help their teen cope with the pressures to drink and make better choices. When you observe that child is drinking alcohol, it is normal to feel worried, upset, and angry. Here we will discuss how parents can help their teens from drinking and alcohol misuse. 

What are some threats to underage drinking?

Drinking and misusing alcohol at a young age can impact a teen’s brain development, disturb their sleeping pattern, delay adolescence. Make them hard to concentrate, increase the risk of liver and heart problems, high blood pressure, and even develop certain types of cancer.

Moreover, it can also throw some emotional and behavioural consequences on your teen. Alcohol use can damage a teen’s mood and personality, target depression and anxiety, or even suicidal thoughts. It can also increase the risk of impaired driving, fighting, stealing, or skipping school. 

However, kids and teens are more likely to spree drink and are more prone to develop a problem with alcohol than adults. Many experts conclude that this may be because the pleasure center of a teen’s brain matures before their capacity to make sound decisions. In simple words, they can experience pleasure from alcohol before making the right choices about when and how much to drink. This led them to do things that are at best embarrassing, at worst-life threatening to themselves and others. 

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While parenting a teen is not very easy, it is essential to remember that you can still have a significant impact on your teen’s choices, particularly during their early teen years. With this informative blog, you can find some of the best ways to talk to your teen about alcohol, address the underlying issue, and help them to make intelligent choices in the future. 

Why do teens drink and misuse alcohol?

During the adolescent years, many physical and hormonal changes can create emotional ups and downs. And as kids struggle to get their independence and want to establish their own identity. According to United States government stats, by the age of 15, 30 percent of the kids have at least one drink, and by the age of 18, that number leaps to almost 60 percent. 

Though teens will try alcohol at some point out of concern or as an act of revolt, there can be many reasons why some teens decide to drink. More parents will understand potential reasons for underage alcohol use. The simple it will be to talk to your child about the dangers and to look for any change in their behaviors.

Reasons why teens drink and misuse alcohol:

Rival pressure:

This might be the most common reason for underage drinking. As kids enter their teens, friends apply more influence over the choices they make. Furious to fit in and be accepted, kids are more likely to drink if their friends drink. If your teen’s drinking coexists with a sudden change in the group, it might be that their new friends are encouraging this damaging behaviour. 

Environmental influences:

Usually, TV and movies make it seem that every cool, independent teenager drinks. Moreover, alcohol advertising also focuses on positive experiences with alcohol, selling their brands as a lifestyle choice. Social media can also make your child feel like they are missing out by not drinking or cause them to feel insufficient about how they live their life. 

Coping with an underlying problem:

The teen years are tough, and they may turn to alcohol in a misguided attempt to cope with stress, boredom, the pressure of school, problems at home, and mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, or childhood trauma. And as alcohol is depressive, so using it to self-medicate will only make the situation worse. If your teen is regularly drinking, then it could be they are coping with a severe underlying issue. 

To appear mature and independent:

Teens often want to prove that they are no longer kids. So, which means if drinking is only for adults, then they will do that. Moreover, it would be best if you understand that your teen is likely to mimic you as a parent. No matter how much you teach about the hazards of drinking alcohol to your teen, your teen is expected to follow you if you reach for a drink. So, if you are worried about your child’s alcohol use, you have to make changes to your drinking habits first. 

Lack of parental boundaries:

Every teen needs boundaries, discipline, and a specific structure even if they get mature or tall. As a parent, you need to fix rules that won’t be rigid, but having no boundaries can be confusing or overwhelming for a kid. 

How to talk to your kid about alcohol?

As most parents know, talking to a teen is very challenging. It can be obvious to feel disheartened if your attempts to communicate are welcomed by an upset roll of the eyes, an uneven grunt, or slamming of the door. However, finding a way to talk to your teen about alcohol is essential- whether you are trying to protect them from drinking in the first place or controlling any current alcohol use. 

To talk to your teen, you need to develop a strategy that can help you open up communication lines without creating any conflict. These strategies are choosing the right time to talk, finding common ground, making it a conversation instead of a lecture, discussing reasons not to drink, and highlighting the message about drinking and driving. 

If you discover that your kid is already drinking, then you must discourage further drinking and encourage better decision-making in the future. Talk to a professional and discuss how you can help your adolescent. At this point, drug and alcohol rehab centers can help to get the teen out from alcohol addiction. Along with this, some therapies and activity programs can also aid in alcohol withdrawal. 

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