Drinking alcohol is legal. But not to everyone. Children should not consume alcohol, and there is a good reason for this. Each year, at least 5,000 young people, below age 21 die as a result of the adverse effects of underage drinking. Yet it seems that alcohol continues to be a drug of choice for this particular group. We cannot prevent every young person from consuming alcohol. But Oceanfront Recovery can help them if they develop an alcohol addiction. A good starting point would be to educate them on the effects of underage drinking. Knowing these adverse effects can influence their choices. The information might prompt them to abstain from alcohol until they are of legal age.
Reasons for Underage Drinking
Children and adolescents drink for several reasons. For some, it’s because of their environmental influences. For example, an adult may start giving alcohol to a child at a young age. Such a child will grow up most likely as a consumer before the legal age.
Other young people do it for pleasurable effects. Adolescents are the more susceptible group. They may engage in drinking because of the physical and emotional changes that they begin to experience. Peer pressure also plays a crucial role in this age group. A young adolescent may begin to drink just because their friends are doing so.
Effects of Underage Drinking
Underage drinkers are susceptible to numerous risks once they start drinking. A young person’s brain has not yet fully developed. Chemicals in these alcoholic drinks may hurt such brains. Some of the effects of underage drinking are:
- Damage to the Brain: Underage drinking adversely affects the part of the brain that is responsible for thinking and retaining long-term memories. An underage drinker may suffer from long-lasting impairment from alcohol. They could also have trouble learning since their memory capabilities do not work to their full potential.
- Harm to the Liver: Drinking alcohol affects the liver. Especially if you are a heavy drinker, exposing young people to drinking will, in the long run, severely damage their liver. They may end up developing liver cirrhosis before they even finish their young adulthood stage.
- Stunted Growth and Development: Alcohol creates a hormonal imbalance in underage drinkers. This happens because alcohol decreases the production of sex hormones during puberty. The production of sex hormones stimulates the production of other vital growth hormones. Thus, if the sex hormones are insufficiently produced, there is a risk that the young person’s development will deteriorate.
Treatment at Oceanfront Recovery
Oceanfront recovery has an addiction treatment center where you can take an underage drinker for treatment. The center provides a full continuum of care that will address the individual needs of the addict. Several therapies are available to complement the treatment programs.
Some of these programs and centers include:
- Drug and alcohol detox center: Detoxifying the body from alcohol’s toxins is the first step towards making a recovery. The center helps young underage drinkers to detox and stabilize their bodies before they enroll for addiction treatment.
- Dual diagnosis treatment program: Underage drinking may lead to the development of other mental illnesses in the young consumer. This program seeks to establish if there are any mental conditions that the young alcoholic developed because of drinking.
- Depression treatment program: Underage drinkers risk developing depression as a result of their drinking. This plan will help such people to manage their condition as they get treatment for their addiction.
Visit Oceanfront Recovery Today
The effects of underage drinking can shape the future of a young person adversely. Young drinkers are also at risk of developing mental health conditions because of early drinking. Fortunately, a mental health treatment center can treat both mental illness and addiction. If you are a young person battling the effects of underage drinking and you need help, call Oceanfront Recovery at (877) 296-7477 for comprehensive therapy and guidance.