The Perils of Adolescence: The Risks of Underage and College Drinking

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( — October 4, 2016) — Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances among Americans and most importantly among American youth. There is a substantial amount of kids that will try alcohol before smoking cigarettes or other types of illegal substances or narcotics. While it is true that adolescents are less frequently drinking alcohol, on the occasion that they do, it’s of the binge drinking variety, more heavily than adults.

Risk Factors

The age of adolescence is the most heightened part of development in humans. It’s a time for more risk taking, independence sought out and experimenting with new things. At this time in our lives, humans are going through a period that includes drastic changes in their bodies, relationships, status, environments and ways of seeing the world.  It’s essentially a time everyone has gone through in one way or the other. A time comes where risk taking is at its highest effect and that may include the abuse of alcohol.

Taking all of those changes into account is when alcohol can appear as an allure for some adolescents for multiple reasons. Unfortunately this comes at an inopportune time for the children’s’ development. At this time they are not ready to face the full effects that can come from drinking alcohol along with its adverse consequences.

Reasons for Abuse

Young people have many different reasons for drinking alcohol. It can do so to deal with everyday situations, problems that include depression, low self-esteem or anxiety. Kids are more likely to start drinking if they see their parents doing so often without consequence.

Those who start drinking before the age of fifteen are more than five times more likely to develop alcoholism later in their life. Abuse can happen at any age, but are more severe at such a young age. Research has shown that brain develop continues into someone’s twenties and this can impede development in the future.

For people looking to help others with treatment or themselves, there are a lot of options out there.  A treatment center at can help treat people with alcohol and drug addictions. There are many resources out there, that are for after effects but also to help before something becomes an issue.

Drinking in College

Nearly four out of five college students drink alcohol. Many of these college students who do drink are more susceptible to binge drinking. The more times students go and drink it’s more likely for them to suffer consequences from their actions. These things include hangovers, performing badly in classes and getting into all kinds of troubles. Drinking impacts thousand of college students every year that also goes back to affect their family, friends and communities around them.  More than have a million students have been assaulted or involved in an altercation of sorts. Sexual abuse runs rampant with alcohol being a major factor of victims being taken advantage of and used an excuse for abuse and rape.

Alcohol causes unintentional injuries and if people aren’t careful can turn them onto a path of substance abuse. A fourth of students report academic problems because of their drinking insistence.

Underage Health Risks

No matter the reason that leads up to alcohol abuse, the problems are documented and researched. Severe health problems may not be as prevalent in adolescents in regards to adults; they can be quite harmful and can put young kids at risks for many health problems.

Scientists have found that alcohol affects the developing brain negatively. It is difficult to find subtle changes in the brain but there has been found to be a significant impact in the long-term. Adolescent brains are still growing and maturing. Adding in the fact of alcohol abuse makes the process even more complex.

The liver is the main source of cleaning out the body and is adversely affected through rapid binge drinking. Elevated liver enzymes point to a kind of liver damage. Even with only moderate levels have showed elevated liver enzymes. Drinking can lead to hormonal imbalances and the potential to become overweight and unhealthy.

Underage drinking is a varied problem. It requires cooperation and education on multiple inter-connected levels. It starts at the home with increased knowledge and a healthy home life. On the more public sphere it needs to be made more responsible through curtailing ability to buy alcohol and allure of drinking. When all of these do come together as they often do, adolescents can avoid the problems with drinking at a young age.

Eva Bolton educates young adults on the dangers of drink and drugs and also wants to include parents so that talks can continue at home. She writes on the topic of addiction in her online articles.