Some people are surprised to learn that teen alcoholism exists. However, research suggests that teen alcohol abuse can be a crucial problem. In general, the younger a person is when they start drinking, the more at risk they are of alcoholism. Studies show that teens who start drinking before the age of 15 are at a higher risk of alcohol abuse than people who start drinking at older ages.
Binge drinking is the intake of multiple alcoholic beverages in a short period of time. Despite the restrictions on alcohol for teenagers, there are a lot of them that drink regularly and most of the time has dangerous problems. For example, car crashes are the leading cause of death among American teens. Abusing alcohol during this time is very dangerous because it can lead to permanent huge changes, making mental illness more likely and cognition more difficult; they can all lead to permanent damage. Persistent changes to the brain, caused by binge drinking in adolescence, can lead to behavioral disorders, problems in sustaining work, acquiring an education, maintaining stable relationships, and controlling cravings or impulses for alcohol or other drugs. It can cause blackouts, physical injury from accidents or falls and alcohol poisoning. It can also cause chronic health problems, such as liver failure and an increased risk of cancer.
The foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility notes that the rate of current alcohol consumption increases by age:
- Less than 1% of 12-year-olds have had a drink
- About 16% of 16-year-olds have had alcohol
Similarly, the risk of drinking enough to get drunk also increases as teens get older . A graph from The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility of reported drinking patterns in 2018 showed that:
- About 18% of 12th graders admit to getting drunk
- About 8% of 10th graders report getting drunk
- About 2% of 8th graders report to having had enough alcohol to get drunk
- About 46% of 20-year-olds have had a drink
Giorgia Peroni, Pellegrini Letizia Pellegrini,
Alessia Mazzini 3AL