Even though nearly all countries have a ban on underage drinking and alcohol sale, drinking is a common teenage problem even in developed countries like the United States. It is estimated that around half of all high school students consume alcohol every month. Given how teenagers are developing physically and mentally and undergoing several emotional changes, it is understandable for them to make mistakes. However, parents have the responsibility of giving them time and attention and intimating them regarding the harmful effects of alcohol abuse.
Academic performance takes a dip
Alcohol is scientifically proven to impair brain functions, especially those related with balance, coordination, judgment and memory. As a matter of fact, alcohol consumption reduces your attention span considerably for about 48 hours and it is hard to recall information and remember details when you are intoxicated. Suffice to say, teens who have drinking problems end up missing classes, losing focus and falling back on assignments. There is no escaping the fact that teenage drinking severely affects academic performance.
Harmful effects on health
Alcohol consumption brings with it several health hazards, not only for adults but teens as well. While a young teenager might think his/her body is strong enough to counter the harmful effects of alcohol, this is not the case at all. Alcohol consumption has been found to be related to disorderly sleep, blackouts, mental confusion and lack of balance and coordination. All these things lead to disorientation and mental fatigue, which is the precursor to other health conditions. Bodily organs like liver, heart and the brain are also physically damaged by continued alcohol consumption and most of the times the symptoms of this damage appear at later stages in life.
Ability to make decisions is impaired
As mentioned earlier, alcohol consumption hinders proper brain functioning and leads to impaired judgment and bad decisions. Teenagers with drinking problems are more likely to contract STDs or get into unplanned pregnancies. They are also much more likely to experiment with other, even more harmful drugs and build dangerous tolerance levels in terms of addiction.
Teenagers with drinking problems often end up isolating themselves and only hanging out with friends or other people who encourage the negative behavior pattern. Their relationships with their friends and family suffer considerably and there is often a visible change in their attitudes. Arguments and fights are common on issues ranging from discipline, allowances and academic progress. It is also common for alcohol dependent teens to break rules and no regard for the law.