Negative Effects of Teenage Drinking

Even though the minimum legal age for drinking is 21 in most U.S. states, teenage drinking is a major problem nationwide. This is not just an issue of breaking the law. Underage drinking causes significant and long-term health issues. If you suspect that your teenager is drinking alcohol, contact our Fayetteville rehab center to find a solution together with our doctors.

Meanwhile, let us explain why drinking is dangerous for teenagers and how widespread this problem is.

Statistics Concerning Teenage Drinking in the U.S.

More teenagers use alcohol than tobacco or marijuana. We use this comparison, because alcohol has the same risk of leading to addiction as the other two substances.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) found the following unsettling statistics for underage drinking in 2022:

  • Almost a fifth (19.7%) of teenagers aged 14 and 15 reported having at least 1 drink in total
  • 5.8 million youths between 12 and 20 years old had more than “a few sips” in the past month
  • Out of them, 3.2 million were involved in binge drinking at least once in the past month

In total, 3.2% of all the alcohol consumed in the United States each year is drunk by youths between 12 and 20 years old.

How Alcohol Affects the Underage Brain

When you hear that no amount of alcohol is safe under 18, you may believe that this is a scaremongering tactic to keep youths away from a pint of beer or a shot of tequila. However, as our rehab therapists know, this is the absolute truth, based on research.

Here are just a few of the negative effects of alcohol of the not yet fully developed brain of a teenager:

  • Alcohol is a depressant which slows down the brain activity
  • The negative effects of alcohol last up to two weeks after one drink
  • Alcohol impairs judgment leading to dangerous risk-taking, aggressive or violent behavior
  • Teenage drinking “wires” the brain for alcoholism in the adult years

Common Risks Associated with Underage Drinking

One sip cannot be bad – you’ve heard it from other parents, who allow their teenagers to use alcohol under their supervision. However, the doctors at our Fayetteville rehab center know differently.

Most of the teenagers we treated over the years suffered from a wide range of problems, such as:

underage drinking has negative effects on health

Perpetrating or Becoming the Victim of Sexual Abuse

Alcohol increases impulsive behavior and reckless decisions. Sadly, some of these poor decisions result in committing sexual abuse or becoming a victim. Both instances leave an indelible mark on the young person’s life, narrowing the opportunities of reaching their full potential in adulthood.

Developing Mental Health Problems

Alcohol abuse often leads to depression, psychosis and suicidal ideation. These mental health issues may appear earlier in teenagers or become more difficult to treat in adulthood.

Disruption of Normal Growth

Alcohol interferes with the growth hormones. Teenagers who use alcohol are stunted in their physical and/or sexual development. In turn, this issue leads to long-term health problems related to hormonal imbalance.

Abusing Other Substances

Alcohol is often the gateway that introduces teenagers to using other controlled substances. Unfortunately, mixing alcohol with various drugs is extremely dangerous, sometimes fatal.

Our Fayetteville Rehab Center Is Ready to Help Treat Teenage Drinking!

Underage drinking is a much bigger problem than you may imagine. As a careful and responsible parent, you want the best for your child. Do not ignore this issue. If you suspect that your teenager has already used alcohol and it is becoming a habit, reach out to us.

The specialists at our Fayetteville rehab center use science-based treatments to help anyone recover from addiction from alcohol. We always involve the families in the treatment and recovery plan, so you will be by your child every step of the way.

Take action now and help your teenager stop drinking – call us to schedule an appointment: 984-223-5341!