McBride One upon a time in the U. Though the days have long passed when heavy drinking was a glamorized aspect of uniformed life, statistics show that an increasing percentage of troops are attempting to relieve the stresses of battle by reaching for the bottle.
Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many young people are experiencing the consequences of drinking too much, at too early an age. As a result, underage drinking is a leading public health problem in this country.
Each year, approximately 5, young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; Alcohol the drug of choice among includes about 1, deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1, as a result of homicides, from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings 1—5.
Yet drinking continues to be widespread among adolescents, as shown by nationwide surveys as well as studies in smaller populations.
And when youth drink they tend to drink intensively, often consuming four to five drinks at one time. For the typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming five or more drinks [men], or four or more drinks [women], in about 2 hours.
Research also shows that many adolescents start to drink at very young ages. People who reported starting to drink before the age of 15 were four times more likely to also report meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives 9. In fact, new research shows that the serious drinking problems including what is called alcoholism typically associated with middle age actually begin to appear much earlier, during young adulthood and even adolescence.
Other research shows that the younger children and adolescents are when they start to drink, the more likely they will be to engage in behaviors that harm themselves and others. For example, frequent binge drinkers nearly 1 million high school students nationwide are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including using other drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, having sex with six or more partners, and earning grades that are mostly Ds and Fs in school As children move from adolescence to young adulthood, they encounter dramatic physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes.
Developmental transitions, such as puberty and increasing independence, have been associated with alcohol use. So in a sense, just being an adolescent may be a key risk factor not only for starting to drink but also for drinking dangerously. Risk-Taking—Research shows the brain keeps developing well into the twenties, during which time it continues to establish important communication connections and further refines its function.
Scientists believe that this lengthy developmental period may help explain some of the behavior which is characteristic of adolescence—such as their propensity to seek out new and potentially dangerous situations.
For some teens, thrill-seeking might include experimenting with alcohol. Developmental changes also offer a possible physiological explanation for why teens act so impulsively, often not recognizing that their actions—such as drinking—have consequences.
Expectancies—How people view alcohol and its effects also influences their drinking behavior, including whether they begin to drink and how much. An adolescent who expects drinking to be a pleasurable experience is more likely to drink than one who does not.
An important area of alcohol research is focusing on how expectancy influences drinking patterns from childhood through adolescence and into young adulthood 11— Beliefs about alcohol are established very early in life, even before the child begins elementary school Before age 9, children generally view alcohol negatively and see drinking as bad, with adverse effects.
By about age 13, however, their expectancies shift, becoming more positive 11, As would be expected, adolescents who drink the most also place the greatest emphasis on the positive and arousing effects of alcohol. This unusual tolerance may help to explain the high rates of binge drinking among young adults.
At the same time, adolescents appear to be particularly sensitive to the positive effects of drinking, such as feeling more at ease in social situations, and young people may drink more than adults because of these positive social experiences 18, Personality Characteristics and Psychiatric Comorbidity—Children who begin to drink at a very early age before age 12 often share similar personality characteristics that may make them more likely to start drinking.
Young people who are disruptive, hyperactive, and aggressive—often referred to as having conduct problems or being antisocial—as well as those who are depressed, withdrawn, or anxious, may be at greatest risk for alcohol problems Other behavior problems associated with alcohol use include rebelliousness 21difficulty avoiding harm or harmful situations 22and a host of other traits seen in young people who act out without regard for rules or the feelings of others i.
For example, being a child of an alcoholic or having several alcoholic family members places a person at greater risk for alcohol problems.
Children of alcoholics COAs are between 4 and 10 times more likely to become alcoholics themselves than are children who have no close relatives with alcoholism COAs also are more likely to begin drinking at a young age 27 and to progress to drinking problems more quickly 9.
Research shows that COAs may have subtle brain differences which could be markers for developing later alcohol problems For example, using high-tech brain-imaging techniques, scientists have found that COAs have a distinctive feature in one brainwave pattern called a P response that could be a marker for later alcoholism risk 29, Researchers also are investigating other brainwave differences in COAs that may be present long before they begin to drink, including brainwave activity recorded during sleep 31 as well as changes in brain structure 32 and function Some studies suggest that these brain differences may be particularly evident in people who also have certain behavioral traits, such as signs of conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, sensation-seeking, or poor impulse control 34— For example, does a person who is depressed drink to alleviate his or her depression, or does drinking lead to changes in his brain that result in feelings of depression?Alcohol: The Most Popular Choice.
Alcohol is by far the most widely used psychoactive drug in the United States. Yet while the possession, use or sale of other drugs is against the law, alcohol is legal for those aged twenty-one or older.
Statistics from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence implicate alcohol use in about. Alcohol Rehab Alabama: We Can Help You, Start Rehab Today! Alcohol is the drug of choice among America’s adolescents, used by more young people than tobacco or illicit drugs.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates there are million underage drinkers in the United States.
Alcohol, not marijuana, is the drug of choice for most teenagers and college students. Among high school seniors, nearly half report using alcohol in the past year.
Alcohol And Drug Rehab Centers In Texas: We Can Help You, 24 Hour Placement Nationwide! Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many young people are experiencing the consequences of drinking too much, at too early an age.
As a result, underage drinking is a .