Let’s face facts; the majority of us probably dabbled with alcohol sometime during our adolescence. Though there are many who wait until the proper age to begin consumption, a great many teens make the decision to experiment with alcohol at least once prior to reaching the legal age. The reasons behind teenage drinking are many, and will differ from person to person.
Coming to grips with the reasons behind teen drinking can help you better communicate concerns with your own child. Many parents are able to relate to their teens once a more in-depth understanding has been obtained. A teen who feels that you do not understand the reasons behind their decisions will be less likely to respect your opinion. As such, it’s important for parents to research the topic thoroughly in an effort to bridge potential communication gaps.
It is never too early to begin discussing alcohol use with your child. Many teens will often gain access to alcohol at an early age, requiring parents to act “prematurely” to help avoid any issues down the road. Parents who are able to discuss this topic with their children prior to their first drink stand a better chance at making a lasting and meaningful impression.
Perhaps the biggest reason behind teenage drinking is peer pressure. Many teens may feel compelled to experiment with alcohol early on to fit in with friends or older peers. Other teens choose to drink due to the rush gained from breaking the law. Because alcohol is so socially accepted, many teens won’t even think twice about the possible consequences. Still, other teens may utilize alcohol as an escape from the pressures of school and family obligations.
The negative effects associated with underage drinking are bountiful. To begin, underage drinkers place themselves at risk for potential legal issues, should they get caught. In addition, many teens are also known to indulge in excess, as most are unaware of their limitations or when to call it a night. Alcohol poisoning is common among novice teen drinking who just don’t know when to quit. Drunk driving is yet another potential risk with teens who have vehicle access. Others may eventually gain a tolerance, become dependant, and require alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
When it comes to prevention techniques, communication is key. In most cases, one discussion is simply not enough to keep your teen from temptation. Make sure to engage in a regular dialog with your child to make certain they understand the risks and consequences associated with underage drinking. Take an interest in their life, and let them know you’re available to talk if they are having difficulty saying “no”.
If you suspect that your teen is suffering from an alcohol problem, our LA drug rehab counselors are available to help! Give us a call today, and find out what we can do to help your teen back on track towards the happy, healthy, and productive life they deserve.