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Teen Alcohol Use

Alcohol is the drug most commonly used among teens. While most teens say they disapprove of heavy drinking, teen alcohol abuse still occurs. And alcohol is one of the risk factors associated with teen suicide. Keep reading for more on teen alcohol use, abuse, and dependency.

And, despite assertions by teens to the contrary, 80 percent of high school seniors have used alcohol at some point. However, most teens underestimate the problems that drinking alcohol can pose, and many of them do not even realize that it can contribute to depressive symptoms that can eventually result in teen suicide.

Risk factors involved in teen alcohol abuse

While teen alcohol abuse is not terribly rampant, it can contribute to teen depression and suicide. Here are some of the risk factors that can trigger alcohol abuse:

  • Mental and emotional problems. Because emotional and mental disorders can be so stressful, many teenagers seek alcohol as a means of self-medication. When they drink alcohol, their problems seem to shrink. The initial euphoria that comes with the first stages of intoxication can be a welcome release from mental and emotional problems. 
  • Family history. Teenagers who have a family history of alcohol abuse are at risk of teen alcohol abuse. This is because addictions are partially genetic, and also because a teenager living in a home where alcohol is abused is exposed to alcohol on a regular basis, and often has the means to easily obtain it. 
  • Family situation. A stressful situation at home can lead to escapism through alcohol and, as a result, a developed dependency upon it. 
  • Violence. Teenagers who experience sexual, physical, mental or emotional violence, or who witness it regularly, can be more prone to teen alcohol abuse. Alcohol becomes a way to deal with the problems and to forget reality for a time.

Teen alcohol abuse and teen suicide

Many teenagers, especially those who are subject to teen depression, feel as though they only feel “normal” when taking alcohol. Additionally, the changes that the body experiences while on alcohol are of a limited duration. When the “buzz” wears off, teenagers might feel even more depressed than they did before. These feelings can lead to suicidal thoughts, and even teen suicide attempts. Teens who recognize they have a dependency can begin to feel helpless, as though they will never escape their alcohol abuse. These feelings of hopelessness and increased depression can also lead to teen suicide. Teen alcohol abuse is one of the risk factors of teen suicide, and it is important to recognize the problems that an alcohol addiction can cause.

Getting help for teen alcohol abuse

It is important to get help for teen alcohol abuse before it develops into a problem that can lead to destructive behaviors, including problems with holding a job, schoolwork, drug addiction, prolonged depression, and even teen suicide. There are many alcohol treatment problems geared toward helping teens overcome the addiction. Therapy is often a good idea in order to help teens work through depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings. This is especially important as withdrawal symptoms associated with teen alcohol abuse can be quite severe and discouraging. Support and care by family and friends is essential to the treatment process.

Teen Alcohol Use Main Source Material: “Teens and Alcohol,” Resource Center. National Youth Violence Prevention. [Online.]

Related Article: Teen Drug Abuse >>



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