Teens and alcohol have an unusual relationship. Many teenagers can only take alcohol when there is no adult present, or in social situations with their peers. So, when they do get their hands on a bottle, they tend to consume large volumes at a time, taking full advantage of the rare opportunity. Although teenagers do not have a consistent drinking habit as adults do, they have been found to challenge the records for most drinks consumed in a fell swoop.
Teenagers love to explore and challenge themselves, so drinking competitions and games are events that provide adventure and fun. Here, teens try to outdo one another, leaving scores of empty beer bottles in their wake in only a matter of minutes. This is how binge drinking comes into play.1
To reach this level, men usually have to consume five or more standard drinks of alcohol, and women usually have to consume four. But, of course, not every alcoholic beverage qualifies as a standard drink, plus various alcoholic drinks have a custom alcohol concentration. So, naturally, the next question will be, “what constitutes a standard drink of alcohol?” Let’s see.
Other bodily dangers of binge drinking include malnutrition, a higher chance of illness and disease, and a decreased state of mental coordinator.4
There are several reasons and causes of teenage drinking, including:
The young mind is adventurous and exuberant. This nature makes them want to break and cross boundaries—including the law. Therefore, Risk-taking through alcoholism can be perceived as the most promising shot at appearing cool and courageous for many teens.
Exposure to persons who engage in underage drinking can arouse curiosity, especially in teenagers and young adults. Teenagers and young adults are known to be quite adventurous. So, the chances of adolescents wanting to know how it feels to binge drink are high.
Some genes have passed down the family that may predispose offspring to alcoholism. An American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry study shows that a child of someone with alcohol use disorder is four times as likely to abuse alcohol than others.
Even as scientists have had a hard time pointing out what genes are responsible for the increased likelihood of alcohol use, enough research has shown a clear pattern of transfer from parents to children.8
One of the effects of binge drinking in teens is the dreaded alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning results from excessive alcohol intake and could very well be fatal—the more reason why there must be a separation between teens and alcohol.
A decline in physical health is a major effect of binge drinking. Binge drinking lowers the body’s ability to withstand illness, causing liver damage, brain damage, heart failure, and cancer.
A decline in mental health is one of the teens and alcohol use effects. Teenagers may experience a pleasurable feeling after drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short period, but this comes at the expense of proper brain function. Binge drinking goes hand-in-hand with several mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and lack of mental coordination.
Experts have linked binge drinking with insomnia and poor sleeping habits. Excessive alcohol consumption reduces the power of sleep-inducing chemicals in the body, such as serotonin. In addition, binge drinking may cause teens to suffer from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes a person to occasionally stop breathing while asleep.
Individual-level interventions involve spotting teens who have shown convincing signs of binge drinking and reaching out to them. The intervention should be friendly and empathic, letting them know about the dangers of the lifestyle and how to get help.
One-on-one or group counseling sessions are one way to defeat underage drinking. In these sessions, teens learn about harmful drinking, drink refusal skills, how to handle emotions and the urge to drink, and develop relationships. One of the main factors that set group sessions apart from individual counseling is that members work together and help set the agenda.
Family therapy has gained increasing preference among other forms of therapy because it removes the feeling of isolation from the teen with the alcohol use disorder. In addition, when several family members are present in a therapy session, there is compelling and reassuring moral support. Family therapy also aims to strengthen relationships that may have been strained by the effects of underage drinking and equip parents with helpful teenage drinking parenting advice.
For teens who want to stop alcohol use, an experienced alcohol addiction treatment center can help significantly. Blueprints for Recovery is one of such alcohol addiction treatment centers. At Blueprints for Recovery, our highly qualified staff provides a listening ear, understands holistic treatment procedures, and has each patient’s best interest at heart. We offer a variety of treatment programs that focus on the physical and mental aspects of recovery, putting the person first, not the disorder. Contact us now so your child/ward can become free again.
If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
(888) 744-9969 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.