How Alcohol Effects Teenagers Essay

Words: 2130
Pages: 9

Alcohol has many effects on the body, especially the teenage body. Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence are not only adult problems -- they also affect a significant number of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 20, even though drinking under the age of 21 is illegal (Dimeff 204).

Alcohol is created when grains, fruits, or vegetables are fermented. Fermentation is a process that uses yeast or bacteria to change the sugars in the food into alcohol. Fermentation is used to produce many necessary items - everything from cheese to medications. Alcohol has different forms and can be used as a cleaner, an antiseptic, or a sedative. When people drink alcohol, it's absorbed into their bloodstream. From there, it affects
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6 Dependence on alcohol and other drugs is also associated with several psychiatric problems, such as:
• depression
• anxiety
• oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
• antisocial personality disorder

Alcohol use among adolescents has also been associated with considering, planning, attempting, and completing suicide. Research does not indicate whether drinking causes suicidal behavior, only that the two behaviors are correlated (Burns 90-101).

Parents' drinking behavior and favorable attitudes about drinking have been positively associated with adolescents' initiating and continuing drinking. Children who were warned about alcohol by their parents and children who reported being closer to their parents were less likely to start drinking.

Lack of parental support, monitoring, and communication have been significantly related to frequency of drinking, heavy drinking, and drunkenness among adolescents.

7 Harsh, inconsistent discipline and hostility or rejection toward children has also been found to significantly predict adolescent drinking and alcohol-related problems. Peer drinking and peer acceptance of drinking have also been associated with adolescent drinking.

The most common and effective way for an individual to combat his or her addictive behaviors is through a self-help support group, with advice and support from a health care professional. Treatment should also involve family members because family history may play a