The most frequently abused drug by teens in the United States is alcohol. When teens begin abusing alcohol, they don’t realize the damage they are causing. According to a report done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), more than 25% of teens, or nearly 7 million, drank alcohol in the past year. Whether your teen has started drinking or not, it’s important to know the facts about teen alcohol abuse.
Although teens don’t drink as often as adults, when they do drink they tend to consume a larger amount. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking is defined as an individual consuming 4-5 drinks on a single occasion. On average, a teen will consume 4-5 alcoholic drinks in a row.
One of the most concerning statistics about teen alcohol abuse was found in a study done by SAMHSA:
“In 2012, among adults aged 18 or older who first tried alcohol at age 14 or younger, 16.1 percent were classified with alcohol dependence or abuse, which was higher than the 3.6 percent of adults who had first used alcohol at age 18 or older.”
Along with the risk of developing an addiction later in life, abusing alcohol can cause many aspects of a teen’s life to suffer. At this age, they aren’t aware of the damage they are causing to their body, their future and their family. Teens who abuse alcohol are more likely to fall behind in their schoolwork, experience legal problems and cause harm to themselves or others.
One of the ways to prevent substance abuse in adolescents is to talk to them about the risks. By initiating open and honest conversations with teens about drinking alcohol, they will in turn feel more comfortable talking to you about it. It’s also important for teens to know if there is a family history of substance abuse. By educating them about the risks, they will be able to make more informed decisions about whether or not they want to drink.
If you are worried that your teen has already started drinking or using drugs, learn the signs of substance abuse. Contact us today and we will answer any questions you may have. Our admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays: (844) 319-5239..