Alcohol abuse among teenagers is a difficult problem to address and solve. As we grow older, we start to take on more responsibilities, deal with stress, and also feel the urge to be independent. Whether you want to consume alcohol or not is a personal decision you will make at some point in your life, but while you’re still a teenager, I believe you should choose not to and return to the decision when you’re older. Here’s why.
Drinking alcohol comes with a lot of responsibility and consequences that you can only fully understand as an adult.
Drinking at an early age often stems from social pressures, such as feeling the need to fit in with a group, but this comes at the cost of a teenager’s health. These effects can be temporary but drinking from a young age can also result in harmful long-term issues. If a teenager starts drinking alcohol when they’re younger than 15, it increases the chance of alcohol addiction in the future. Long term memory and motor issues can occur due to early alcohol abuse. The ability of a person to perceive certain emotions and movements is changed, making them more likely to make irrational decisions.
For instance, drinking and driving is highly dangerous as it takes longer time for a person to react to something or engaging in sexual activity is risky as a person is not capable of providing valid consent.
What if you’re concerned about a friend’s drinking?
Know that anxiety, mental disorders, low self-esteem, or domestic problems are factors that could cause someone to abuse alcohol. If you’re concerned, check in with your them, see how they’re doing and ask how you can help. Engage in activities with them that don’t centre around drinking. If they are being pressured, support them in saying no and choosing not to drink.
You can also talk to a teacher, counsellor, or trusted adult if you’re concerned about a friend’s or your own alcohol abuse.
You can always contact ConnecTeen for peer support by phone, text and chat.