Alcoholism is a conduct disorder based on the consumption of large amounts of alcoholic or alcoholic beverages for a long time. This behavior carries serious consequences of various kinds, being very destructive.
But in addition, this problem becomes much more serious when the consumer is a teenager. In this Psychology-Online article we will delve into what they are the causes and consequences of alcoholism in adolescents.
The causes for which a young person begins to drink alcohol, followed later with an intake of the same that normally grows with the passage of time, are varied. Generally, the main reasons for the initiation of alcohol consumption refer to social factors. Young people usually start drinking when in their closest environment, as is usually their Group of friends, with whom they go out and interact, consuming alcohol is seen as something that encourages fun and makes them part of the group.
That sense of group membership it is something characteristic of many animal species, among which humans are one more. But, it is something especially relevant in the case of adolescence, when one most needs the
Another of the most frequent reasons for young people to consume alcohol is that alcohol allows them lose shame, very typical during puberty, opening and dissolving. In this way, many young people say that it is much easier for them to meet people, to start talking to the person they like or anything else that in normal situations shame would prevent them make.
In addition, there are sociocultural factors that predispose adolescents to consume alcohol and other substances. Some of them are: come from unstructured families or poor family relationships, vulnerability and / or risk of social exclusion and family history of substance abuse.
On too many occasions, the problem comes from psychological disturbances such as depressions, anxiety (since alcohol has depressant effects on the nervous system, acting as an anxiolytic), stress, self-esteem problems or personality disturbances. In these cases, the main thing is to solve the basic problem, because only then can excessive alcohol consumption be treated later.
The prolonged consumption of alcohol carries a series of consequences, both organic and emotional and social. The ethanol molecules that are present in spirits have a series of effects on our body. These effects are much greater in young people, since their body is in full development, the effects being much more decisive. The main consequences of alcohol in adolescents They are:
- Neural disorders: alcohol consumption modifies the functioning of numerous brain receptors and therefore of many neural circuits. This has serious effects, especially in young people, as it seriously affects their brain development. Here you will find more information about the effects of alcohol on the brain and nervous system.
- Endocrine disorders: Consuming large amounts of alcohol causes changes at the hormonal level. This causes, among other things, to alter the production of hormones as important as growth hormone, which is essential for the proper functioning of the human body.
- Higher risk of developing diseases: Being a toxic substance, at high doses, alcohol causes cellular alterations in all tissues. Therefore, it favors the appearance of tumors, especially at the oral, pharyngeal, mammary, rectal, esophageal, hepatic and laryngeal levels.
- Weakening of the immune system: Another of the consequences of alcohol consumption in young people is the repercussion on the system immune system, which makes an organism much more susceptible to contracting both viral and bacterial. These diseases are of all types, cardiac, respiratory, reproductive ...
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Alcohol is a substance that, in addition to being very toxic, is highly irritating to the gastric mucosa. This means that a high consumption of alcoholic beverages causes serious stomach and intestinal disorders, leading to the appearance of vomiting, gastritis, ulcers and others.
- Cardiovascular effects: including heart rhythm disturbances, high blood pressure, or cardiomyopathies.
- Social and emotional problems: Another of the consequences of alcoholism in adolescents is the affectation of the social and emotional area. The continued and excessive consumption of alcohol, by causing all the aforementioned imbalances, causes a series of alterations at both a social and emotional level. Some may be the aggressiveness, depression, or anxiety.
Given the harmful consequences that alcoholism has on our body, our social relationships, our mind and feelings, it is essential to avoid the start of such consumption, especially the earlier you can to be.
The prevention of alcoholism in adolescents it has to be carried out in many areas, requiring a multidisciplinary intervention. In addition, it must be done at all possible levels, from individual individuals, to groups of friends, families, schools and the media.
It is recommended to perform awareness campaigns for the general population. These must include both warning messages young people as rabbits for families, so that they have the necessary tools to prevent their children from consuming alcohol at an early age. In this way, experts indicate that one of the most decisive factors for a teenager to drink alcohol is their environment family, since the position and customs of the parents with regard to alcohol consumption are decisive in most of the cases.
The work of schools and institutes is also important, helping teachers to carry out a education in health and values that allows young people to make the right decisions to ensure their health.
On the other hand, it is also important to teach social skills such as assertiveness that can help adolescents to manage situations in which peer pressure is exerted. Here you will find assertiveness techniques to say no to drugs.
You may also be interested in knowing how to work drug addiction in adults and adolescents.
This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.