Binge Drinking in Adolescence
“Adolescence is a time of exploration and limit testing; therefore, it is no coincidence that this is the chief period for initiating substance use.” Siqueira, Lorena & Smith, Vincent (2015). The majority of teenagers and young adults have the sense of omnipotence, feeling pressure from their friends and colleagues, also from society. In this age, they want to prove that they are not kids anymore and started to be challenged and challenge their peers about alcohol intake, sexual initiation, and others form of a rite passage. Moreover these days they are exposed to social media, and they want to show that they grow up; in addition to that television and advertisement show happy and masculine figure having drinks and conquering females, movies also show this link to the enjoyment of life, so a lot of teenagers start to have a desire for it.
According to the An American Addition Center-Alcohol Organization…” approximately one of every ten alcoholic drinks in the U.S.A is consumed illegally. Despite age 21 being the legal drinking age, children as young as 12 years old have engaged in under-age alcoholism. In fact, more than 70 percent of teens have consumed at least one alcoholic beverage by the time they reach age 18, which is still under the legal age”. In addition to that adolescents tend to binge drinking. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) describe binge drinking as the pattern of drinking wich the blood alcohol concentration(BAC) in a person is 0.08% or higher.
Within 36% and 50% of high school students currently, drink alcohol as well as 28% to 60% of the states that they binge drinking. Girls participate less in all stages of binge drinking than boys, (Siqueira, Lorena & Smith, Vincent, 2015). The use of alcohol in early ages has been a significant cause of concern for years in the United States. It must be understood by parents and society that alcohol is a drug and its use and abuse by adolescents with frequency.
In the article, effects of delaying binge drinking on adolescent brain development: a longitudinal neuroimaging study, Bourque, Baker, Dagher, Evans, et al. suggests that brain maturation in both grey and white matter follows a posteroanterior trajectory across the cortex. Where frontal areas, and white matter tracts that originate there, mature in parallel with higher order executive functional changes in later adolescence (e.g., inhibitory performance or working memory, relative to other, more basic cognitive functions (e.g., attention).
Students who had never been involved in binge drinking have more concentration to study, also attend classes and complete their homework in contrast for those who consume alcohol. Moreover, until into late adolescence, significant maturation development still happening in the brain anatomy connectivity, and function (Patte, Qian, and Leatherdale, 2017).
Among teenagers who consume alcohol and binge drinking have the inconsistent amount of academic accomplishments or they feel that the degree completion is the only hope they have. Moreover, school dropout is likely anticipated by a period of student lack of interest, with lower grades, absence, and disciplinary problems.
Furthermore, teenagers who drink alcohol are at high risk of becoming alcoholics, depressives, violent or commit homicides and suicides. Early use of alcohol has been shown to affect neuropsychological performance such as the memory of adolescents and may impair the growth and integrity of specific brain structures. Additionally, they get involved in motor vehicle accidents with injuries and fatalities. Also, enter into a sexual life earlier and are at significant risk of getting STD’s or not a planned pregnancy.
It is essential that parents, school, the medical community, society and, the government take responsibility for the prevention of underage drinking. There are also side effects which can be for long term and short term binge drinking. For long-term could possible happen, stomach ulcers, liver problems, neurological and cardiovascular issues, coma and unfortunately death. A for those who have the short-term side-effects they experience, fainting, nausea or vomiting, seizures, impaired breathing, alcohol poisoning and consequentially coma.
It is essential that parents, schools, the medical community, society and, the government take responsibility for the prevention of underage drinking. As well as students engaging for change, getting involved with their families in the participation of some projects, understanding and practicing. Parents, relatives, and friends should look for warning signs which indicate the abuse of alcohol by youngers, such as excessive partying, late nights, frequent intoxication, needing alcohol to have a good time, hangovers, depression mode, weight loss or weight gain, suicidal, and blackouts.
Binge drinking in teens can result in a physical and psychological addiction to alcohol. Being addicted can mix it up with physical, mental or both. If the adolescent is physically addicted to alcohol, it means that his body becomes dependent on the use of that substance. Moreover, their bodies develop a tolerance to alcohol, the more they drink they need a more significant amount of alcohol or drink with more frequency to achieve the same sensations. If they became addicted to alcohol, their body doesn’t receive the dose it needs, its when teens are starting to show symptoms such as diarrhea, tremors, nausea, headache, vomiting.
Parents must educate their children by showing them what is right and wrong. Thus, a project in schools or medical centers on the topic of “teenage alcoholism” will only have an effect on the active participation and intervention of parents.
Finally, it is up to the community as a whole implement social projects, with an integrative medicine involved, psychologists, holistic professionals, and medical doctors. Also in conjunction with educational development being creative so these projects can succeed. Everybody who is a part of the community, even if they do not have children, they should participate. And more important is to make these kids understand the real danger of being exposed so early to alcohol, and more critical education and example are the best ways to be followed.