Prophylactic approaches to manage alcohol and teenage pregnancies

Kylie, a 15-year-old chubby teen had a perfect life – caring parents, comfortable lifestyle, steady relationship and excellent grades. Kylie shared an intimate equation with her boyfriend and her joy knew no bounds when she discovered that she was three-months pregnant. Unfortunately, the news of her pregnancy was not well received by her partner and he insisted that they discard this pregnancy for it was too early to think about having a baby. After much pestering, he convinced Kylie to gulp some tablets, which would help her get rid of the pregnancy smoothly. Read more

Consequences of underage drinking: Long-term health problems

Underage drinking may be a passing phase for some, but for others it can turn into a lifelong problem. People who start drinking before the age of 15 are seven times more likely to develop a drinking problem than those who wait until they are 21. A lifetime of hard drinking can do serious damage to a person’s life and well-being. Adolescents should be aware that picking up a drink may set them up for a lifetime of difficulties.

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Consequences of underage drinking: High-risk sex

Teens who drink are more likely to engage in potentially dangerous sexual practices than those who do not drink. When teens open themselves up to sexual interaction without taking responsible steps to ensure their physical safety and health, it could have tragic consequences. Before teens begin drinking, they should understand the potentially hazardous consequences that may result from unsafe sex.

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The consequences of underage drinking: Sexual assault

Drinking during teenage years can cause a variety of short- and long-term health problems, but significantly darker consequences can also result. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption both by perpetrators and victims increases the likelihood of sexual assault (National Institute on Drug Abuse). As many as one in ten girls in high school and one in five women in college have reported being raped (Massachusetts Bar Association, “Underage drinking and sexual assaults”). In order to protect themselves from the worst kind of abuse, teens must be aware of the very grave risks of binge drinking. Read more

Consequences of underage drinking: Suicide

Suicide is the second most common cause of death for people aged 14 to 25 and alcohol only makes the problem worse (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Alcohol is widely known to be a contributing factor in suicide for people of all ages. Alcoholics are up to 120 times as likely to commit suicide as those without a drinking problem and alcohol contributes to about one in every four suicides (National Center for Biotechnology Information). Because teens are particularly at risk of suicide, underage drinking can be extremely hazardous to their physical and mental health. It’s important to understand the dangers that alcohol can pose to teens in order to curb the epidemic of teen suicide. Read more

Getting Schooled – How alcohol hurts education

School can be an exciting and interesting time for many students. Drinking alcohol can provide a fun outlet during parties and kickbacks. That said, mixing the two activities spells disaster for those getting schooled by both demanding curriculums and busy social schedules. Learning how alcohol impacts a young person’s mental and physical health is critical for using this substance in moderation while still excelling in academics.

Dr. Ginny Schwartz, former coordinator of academic support at St. Lawrence University, cautions college students about drinking excessively at night and then heading to class the day.

“Heavy drinking by students can lead to positive blood alcohol levels the next day, affecting whether or not they even get up for class and, if they do, the quality of how information is processed and ultimately stored,” Dr. Schwartz notes on the university’s academic support webpage.

Hangovers can lead to irritability and anxiety as well, according to Dr. Schwartz.

High school students are also affected by alcohol consumption. A study by Ana Balsa, a research professor from the Center for Applied Research on Poverty, Family and Education in Uruguay, found a noticeable impact on the GPA of high school males compared to their chronically sober classmates. Females, while they did not have the same GPA discrepancy, still face difficulties in academic settings. Balsa and her cohorts found the self-reporting of these grades led to bias, as the females inflated their grades in reporting while the males deflated their own.

They used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and GPAs taken from official school records and self-reporting to find their results.

Balsa is far from the only researcher to take a notice of this subject.  The Center for Disease Control has broken down the grades of students who have or had used alcohol to various degrees. Those with D’s or F’s comprised the demographic most likely to have ever drank, currently drink or even binge drink. The most striking discrepancy presented between those who drank for the first time before the age of 13 and those who have not. D’s and F’s occurred for 41 percent of those young drinking cases, while only 14 percent of high achieving students did the same.

Taking those drinking habits into the college scene and beyond has led to violent and deadly consequences. The Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) has found drug and alcohol abuse to be the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24. Almost just as alarming is 95 percent of all violence on college campuses relates to alcohol in some way.

The FIT staff theorize drinking in college is a byproduct of peer pressure, escapism and desires to feel more socially open with others. While alcohol can be great in small doses as a “social lubricant,” some drinkers can struggle to stop when appropriate or use the alcohol as crutch instead of developing social skills in a healthy, lasting way.

These goals likely shouldn’t obscure the ultimate goal of college: education and preparing for the rest of a life in love and learning. If drinking every day, feeling guilty and intense defensiveness when confronted with the alcohol use sound like familiar parts of life, it is likely the goals of education, social life and other pursuits are falling to the wayside. At this point, it is time to seek help for this potentially deadly problem.

Having difficulty balancing alcohol with other parts of life is one of the signs of alcohol addiction. Dealing with this monstrous disease can be difficult to do alone. This is why the Texas Alcohol Addiction Helpline is a great resource for people striving to enter recovery. Call us at 855-982-2401 today to find an addiction treatment specialist ready to help.