Alcohol Abuse in Teens

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence are not only adult problems. They also affect a significant number of adolescents and young adults. Dr. Edward Hill tells us about the dangers of teenage drinking in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Alcohol is the most widely abused drug in the United States. On the average, teenage drinking begins very early, often before 13 years of age. Alcohol use in the teen years is a serious concern. Even occasional alcohol use by a teen is a sign they are at increased risk for future alcohol and drug problems.

Teens use alcohol because they believe it relaxes them, makes them feel less stressed, and helps them feel more confident. But there are many reasons teens should not drink.

Alcohol can cause serious health problems and dependence in teens faster than in adults. A teen can quickly become both physically and psychologically dependent on alcohol.

Car crashes because of driving while under the influences of alcohol are the leading cause of deaths among 15- to 24-year-olds. Each year, about 8,000 teen deaths and 45,000 injuries are related to alcohol involved car crashes.

Alcohol abuse can also prevent a teen from developing skills needed for success in relationships and life. Also, alcohol is toxic to the developing brain in teens.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.