Alcohol Abuse Among Adolescents
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Among adolescents, alcohol abuse is most prevalent in the US. Alcohol abuse at a young age leads to addiction, cognitive problems and death. Government and school authorities are trying out different ways to control the addiction and also be able to identify it at an early stage. Their effort is to reduce the dependency caused by alcohol.
The Centers for Disease Control claims that nearly 13 million kids in the US in the age group of 9 to 12 consumed alcohol. Around 75 percent of the high school kids report to have tried alcohol at least once in their life. Nearly one third of the kids have tried alcohol before they turned 13.
There are several detrimental effects of alcohol abuse among adolescents. As per a study conducted by Aaron M. White on rats, regular consumption of alcohol has negative effects on the hippocampus area of the brain. Memory functions are carried out in this part of the brain. Alcohol consumption also affects the brain's ability to store and remember information. In fact, people can also forget names and events due to regular consumption. As per a study performed by the Pittsburgh Adolescent Alcohol Research Center, nearly 5,000 students die each year because of excess consumption of alcohol and alcohol-related accidents. Nearly 1,900 deaths were due to drunk driving among students aged less than twenty-one. Around 1,600 homicides and 300 suicides are also related to alcohol consumption among children. Others include drowning and fatal accidents.
The best way to prevent alcoholism in teenagers is the school to take proactive measures. They should have alcohol free school campuses and events. Also, they should have a strict no-alcohol policy and if the students break the policies they should be punished with strong consequences. They also should concentrate on confidential and private support system and offer counseling for children who are prone to alcoholism.
Parents also should play a role by keeping open communication with children. Parents should provide a strong system to the children. When they go wrong parents should show their support through love and attention. Parents should also set strict rules and limitations. They should be vigilant about their timings and discipline. As a parent if you have already identified alcoholism in your child, you should stop privileges like pocket money. Their spending patterns should be monitored closely. Also make their expectations clear if you are strict or punishing them. Also, respect the child’s privacy and allow them to be independent in a safe way.
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