Underage Drinking: How To Help Teens Make Better Decisions
“My child is engaged in underage drinking.” It’s a statement no parent would want to make, yet underage drinking is prevalent throughout the globe. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5.4 million individuals (ages 12-20) engaged in excessive drinking (12.4 percent females and 15.8 percent males). This condition can result in serious consequences, including social problems, health problems and issues with alcoholism later on in life
There is no single reason for underage drinking, but there are influences and core issues behind excessive alcohol use. Parents who know about these influences can place themselves in a good position to pursue solutions with their kids to ensure they leave their addictive behaviors well before they move into adulthood.
Core reasons for teens to engage in alcoholism
Alcohol use by individuals under the age 21 as become a public concerns. Underage drinking could result because of one or a combination of these reasons:
- Social influences
Many teenagers engage in drinking because of peer pressure. They’ll do things to feel accepted inside their social circles that they might not otherwise. Because the effect of alcohol is immediate, the initial effect tempts an individual to try again. Furthermore, drinking provides a common ground for them to increase interactions with the like-minded, a way to bond with a group of teens.
- Low confidence
Many teens who lack confidence take alcohol to gain courage; sing even if you have a bad voice, talk to the boy or girl you’re attracted to, or do something that’s only expected of a confident person. Alcoholism makes you develop this mentality that you can make decisions with confidence. As a result, drinking appeals to teens who aren’t aware of its negative consequences.
- Anger and emotion
Rebellious teens opt for substances and alcohol to gain more freedom when it comes to behaving aggressively. It can increase the severity of the response in anger. Another reason for excessive drinking could be an attempt to mask emotional problems such as depression or anxiety. Alcohol helps them fill the internal void they develop during periods of stress and emotional trauma.
What can you do as a parent?
Parents need to take steps to help teenagers stay away from/overcome alcohol addiction. That’s because excessive drinking increases the risk of physical and sexual assault, brain development issues, impaired judgment and even death. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Addiction recovery centers
Reflections Rehab points out that individuals can recover from addiction through a total lifestyle change. Recovery centers such as theirs can help teens live a normal life without the use of alcohol. Through counseling & clinical treatment, teens learn to realize their issues and constructively use that understanding to shift their behavior and lead more fulfilling lives.
- Encouragement of sobriety
You can help your child to be self-driven. The key to success with this step is constant awareness and support, which often includes support from the parent as well as teachers at school. This could also involve counseling to give the recovering alcoholic encouragement to maintain sobriety.
- Removal of misinformation
Perhaps the most important step is to help remove inaccurate information teens possess about alcohol. Nearly every teen has friends who assures them that risks are minimal. As a result, they should be educated about the dangers of alcohol addiction.