Though legally, the drinking age in America is 21, many people indulge in underage drinking. What they might not know is that they could be exposing themselves to numerous short and long-term health risks. How widespread is it, and what are its potential dangers? We aim to answer these and more questions. Contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston for assistance today at 866.516.8356.
Underage Drinking Statistics
Underage alcohol use remains a big problem in America. While it is illegal for someone under the age of 21 to purchase and consume alcohol, people aged between 12 and 20 make up millions of alcohol consumers in the United States.
Furthermore, according to many experts, an even higher number of people aged 21 and over have admitted to having a drink. Moreover, though adults drink alcohol more often, teens consume more alcohol, putting them at the risks associated with binge drinking.
For males, binge drinking involves having five or more drinks in one sitting, while for females, binge drinking entails having four or more drinks. Some of them further indulge in heavy drinking, which involves binge drinking on five or more days in one month.
Reasons for Underage Drinking
Several reasons contribute to underage drinking and alcohol abuse, with one of them being peer pressure. As teenagers grow, they develop a desire to experiment with different things. Others desire increased independence and for them, indulging in alcohol and substance abuse signifies the freedom they are seeking.
Lack of parental supervision and early exposure to alcohol and substance abuse in the home also increases the chances of teenage drinking. For others, drinking alcohol could be a way of escaping stressful situations such as abusive parents or divorce.
Signs of Underage Drinking
Since a child’s teenage years are a time of physical and behavioral changes and growth, it can be difficult for parents to differentiate which changes are regular and which ones aren’t. Here are some of the common signs that could indicate the presence of underage alcohol abuse:
- Slurred speech
- Coordination problems
- Problems focusing on tasks
- Reduced energy levels
- Behavioral or academic issues in school
- Reduced interest in appearance and hobbies
Dangers of Underage Drinking
Underage drinking poses several short and long-term threats. Some of these dangers include:
Possible Injury and Death
Drinking affects a person’s ability to make the right decisions, making them more prone to accidents that could cause injuries or, in some cases, fatalities. Being intoxicated also impairs motor functions, blurs vision, and increases response time. For example, numerous car accidents happen as a result of alcohol abuse. Accidental alcohol poisoning is another way underage alcohol use could cause injuries and death.
Risky Sexual Behavior
The impaired decision-making caused by alcohol could lead youth to indulge in risky sexual behaviors, which increase the risks for sexual assault, sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancies.
A young person’s brain keeps developing well past their 20s, and early alcohol and substance abuse could impede that development. Early consumption of alcohol could affect the brain’s function and structure, causing learning or cognitive problems. Drinking also changes the hormones in the body, which could disrupt puberty and growth and makes it more likely for a person to develop alcohol dependency later in life.
Alcohol Treatment at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston
With these and many more dangers in mind, prompt treatment for underage drinking is essential. Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston is here to help. We offer a wide variety of treatment options that our medical professionals provide in a serene environment. Some of the treatment options we offer are such as:
- Family therapy program
- Individual therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Group therapy
Call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 for more information on how we can help.