three teenagers participating in underage drinking

According to research, more than half of teenagers try alcohol, and girls and boys are equally likely to experiment. This problem is serious because underage drinking has obvious and not-so-obvious risks. Because of that, it's important for teens to learn about the dangers.

Impaired Development

Adolescence is an important period in people's lives for physical and mental development. Drinking alcohol, however, can cause several problems. For instance, it can lead to slow bone growth and weak bones as well as delayed puberty. In the brain, heavy alcohol use can damage coordination, memory and motor functions.

Behavior Problems

Experts consider drinking alcohol itself to be a behavior problem in teens and others who are underage. However, most young people develop other sensation seeking and impulsive behavior issues too.

Underage drinking also makes teens less likely to think about their safety. They often participate in dangerous sexual behaviors without using protection. Because of that, they have an increased risk for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

Their hazardous behavior can lead to rape and sexual assault as well. Fatal car crashes are even relatively common among teens who drink and drive.

Also, teen drinking can have lasting effects on their lives. It can lead to problems with attaining an education and a job. Since it increases their likelihood of alcohol addiction in adulthood, it can affect their marriages and financial independence. However, alcohol addiction rehabilitation can help them at this point and even before a full addiction develops.

Alcohol Poisoning with Underage Drinking

In a lot of cases, teens don't drink alcohol every day. Instead, they binge on the weekends. Binge drinking consists of women having more than three drinks and men having more than four in the same evening.

Drinking in this manner can lead to blackouts. Afterward, teens don't remember what they did while they were drunk. They're also likely to feel sick and miss school.

When they binge too much, however, they can develop alcohol poisoning. Also called overdose, this condition can have severe consequences, including death. It's vital for anyone with alcohol poisoning to get immediate medical attention.

Special Challenges for Girls

Although teen girls have many of the same reasons as boys for experimenting with alcohol, they have some unique challenges. For instance, they have a higher chance of drinking to cope with emotions or escape problems. They're also more likely to have unprotected sex.

Girls are more at risk for endocrine disorders when they drink during puberty as well. These health problems affect their bone and tissue growth, heartbeat and reproductive function. Examples of endocrine disorders include growth disorders, diabetes, and thyroid disease.

Help for Underage Drinking

Do you know a teen who drinks alcohol? San Antonio Recovery Center offers alcohol detoxification programs. Getting treatment now can prevent the development of addiction. Along with separate rehab for men and women, we provide a range of addiction rehab programs and services such as:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Inpatient drug rehab
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Family therapy
  • 90-day treatment

Don't ignore the signs of alcohol addiction. Get teens help as soon as you recognize underage drinking. Call us at 866-957-7885 to learn more about what you can do.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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