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Teenagers And Alcohol - Binge Drinking Dangers

At some stage your teenager is going to experiment with alcohol, it is not technically a drug, it is legal to sell to adults over the age of 21 but the law varies from state to state as to how old a teenager has to be before they are allowed to drink at home, or in restaurants. What is clear from all the statistics on teenagers and alcohol is that teenagers are accessing alcohol despite legally not being allowed to buy it. Not only that, but pre-teens as young as 11 have been diagnosed with alcohol addiction, or picked up on the streets by the police, under the influence and too drunk to be capable of finding their way home.

The surveys show that teenagers try alcohol as young as 13 on average and that as many as 25% of 8th graders and 40% of 10th graders have drunk alcohol in the last month. Whilst parents are reportedly most worried about drug abuse, such as marijuana and cocaine, the fact is that alcohol is the prime drug of choice for school age teenagers.

If you have drink at home, then your teenager has probably snuck into the liquor cabinet at some point, tried some vodka and topped the bottle up with water. Parents frequently blame bad friends and peer pressure for their teenagers deterioration in behavior and consumption of alcohol, when according to teens themselves, peer pressure only accounts for around 65% of the reasons they drink. Alcohol tastes good and in small quantities can make you feel good; the drinker being 15 years old does not change that.

Alcohol manufacturers spend a lot of money and effort producing something that is pleasurable to taste; their motivation is to increase consumption of their products and raise their profits. Teenager's state that the main reason for drinking alcohol is the taste is good and it makes them feel good, followed closely by the feeling that it helps make their problems go away. Alcohol is a stimulant in small quantities, the "feel good" factor, it reduces anxiety, and relaxes the body; there go the "problems"! However, after two or three drinks a type of euphoria can take over and reckless behavior can follow. After more drinks, inhibitions are suppressed, but depression can be an outcome.

It is pointless, and insulting to teenagers to claim that alcohol has no upside to it, that it is all bad, disgusting, and dangerous. Being drunk is all of those things, and you must be careful to make the distinction clear. If you suspect your teenager is drinking, talk to them, calmly. Explain the science and then the dangers of being incapable of protecting yourself from predators when drunk. Do not make alcohol sound like forbidden fruit; they will want to try it even more. If you talk to your teenager early enough you should be able to guide them into sensible drinking habits as they grow older; everything in moderation. In the meantime, lock your liquor cabinet and hide the key.

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