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.

Next morning, when Kylie did not come down for breakfast, her mother Samantha had an intuition that something was wrong. She rushed to her daughter’s room and  found Kylie in a pool of blood. Later in the emergency room (ER) of a nearby hospital, she was informed that her daughter had hemorrhagic bleeding after consuming self-induced abortion pills. Although she was out of danger, she needed help as her blood tested positive for alcohol.

Teen pregnancies strongly linked with alcohol

Approximately 33 percent teens in the United States have at least a single drink by the time they turn 15, and by the time they turn 18, nearly 60 percent have at least a drink. Alcohol consumption can result in negative health outcomes for teenagers, such as drunk driving, drug abuse, poor grades at school, unprotected sex, susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy.

Alcohol is an extremely addictive substance. Nearly 18 million adults in the U.S. are addicted to alcohol. One can get addicted to alcohol at any stage of life, however, if consumed under 15 years, a person is five times more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol compared to those who start drinking on reaching a legitimate age. When one consumes an alcoholic beverage, alcohol reaches the bloodstream from the stomach and small intestine. It then reaches the brain and starts showing its effects in the form of disorientation, impaired vision, compromised judgments, brain fog, etc. The impaired judgment leads to unprotected sex and hence, an unplanned pregnancy. While alcohol consumption leading to a teen pregnancy can seriously affect a teen’s life in terms of health, performance at school, relationship issues, unfortunately, many teens continue to drink even during a pregnancy, which can result in a miscarriage, stillbirth, dysregulation of a child’s brain, abnormal facial features at birth, developmental delays, and speech and hearing complications and so on.

Strategies to dissuade teens from indulging in alcohol consumption

Teenagers’ parents and loved ones must educate them about the repercussions of alcohol consumption at a young age, teenage pregnancy and its consequences on the life. Listed below are some important tips to adopt while talking to teenagers about such a sensitive and critical issue:

  • One must ensure open communication with teenagers, regardless of the subject, so that a teen does not feel scared or apprehensive about reaching out.
  • Teenagers learn from their surroundings. Therefore, one must try to set right examples. The elders at home should be careful not to consume alcohol in front of teens and ensure that alcohol is easily accessible to teens at home.
  • To stress on the criticality of the issue, parents or guardians can share the statistics with their teens.
  • Parents should be polite yet firm in asserting the repercussions of defying the rules regarding alcohol consumption.
  • Teens must be educated about safe sexual practices and they should be informed about what to do, whom to call or reach out to, in case they indulge in unprotected intercourse.
  • Parents or guardians can take teens to volunteer at the rehab where people addicted to alcohol are treated because that could be a revelation for them.
  • Teens must be encouraged to stay strong in the face of peer pressure and never succumb to drinking just to seek validation from their friends.
  • Parents, guardians or caretakers must encourage their teens to share everything, in case they feel stressed out due to an issue.

Road to recovery

Teenage pregnancy is a serious concern, with damaging effects on a teenager, the child and the loved ones. Therefore, teenagers must be informed at an early age about the destructive effects of alcohol addiction. Moreover, their parents or caretakers must be watchful of any sign of stress or depression in teens, as these mental illnesses can also trigger alcohol addiction.

If you have a teen who is into alcohol, then it’s about time you do something about it. The Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline assists in accessing the finest alcohol addiction treatment centers in the United States that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 alcohol addiction treatment helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online with our representatives to know more about customized treatment plans.

Also read:

Consequences of underage drinking: Long-term health problems

The consequences of underage drinking: Sexual assault