Alcoholism is tough to get out of. And depending on one’s family situation, it can be hard to avoid getting into in the first place. Teen alcoholism is especially dangerous because of how a teen’s brain and body are developing at the time. Just like drug addiction, alcoholism during the teen years can be incredibly hard to escape, and it can be very easy to fall into.
Why Does It Happen?
Teenage brains are still developing as well as establishing important connections for better thinking and decision making when they get older. But because the brain is still in development, some portions grow faster than others. One of these is the pleasure center. Unfortunately, the portions that regular decision making and analyzing risk are not so fast in growing, and this results in a heightened chance of making risky decisions and potentially dangerous thrill seeking. The teenage brain is just not as good as weighing decisions and consequences as an adult normally would. This all contributes to why a teenager might think it’s okay to overindulge in alcohol. What they don’t think about is how this can quickly turn into alcoholism.
Another reason why this can happen is that of family situation. If one or both of a teenager’s parents are alcoholics, it further increases the chances of the teen or teens falling to alcoholism as well. Aside from the parent or parents setting a bad example for the teen to emulate, the teen might see the parent’s habit of escaping into alcoholism as a means to escape the stress of their home situation.
Last, but not least, there’s peer pressure. Teens are at a stage where it’s easy to want to follow the group. And it can have a snowball effect as one teen after another starts drinking. By the power of group suggestion, a whole group of teens can pull themselves down the wrong road.
The Effects of Alcoholism
Alcoholism can do a wide range of things to a teenager. Not only can alcohol abuse cause damage to their liver as well as their developing brain, but it can also affect the way they are on the outside. You will likely notice them having trouble attending school, drastic changes in personality, and trouble with grades. If the teen becomes dependent on alcohol, you may also notice a change in their money spending habits, or perhaps they’ll ask you for money more frequently, these are all signs that something has changed.
Treatment and Recovery
There are rehab and treatment programs that your teen can attend in order to recover from alcoholism. From therapists that can help with the emotional causes to doctors that can help with the physical, there are plenty of resources for your teen to access and take the first steps to be free from alcohol. But most of all, your teen will need the support of his or her family. With strong family support and the support of good friends, a teen can properly engage in their treatment and reach recovery sooner as well as avoid the risk of addiction relapse.