Alcohol consumption is widely accepted in our society and associated with social gatherings and leisure in general. Alcoholism is a disease that can have serious consequences on the consumer's physical and mental health and on their social relationships. In this Psychology-Online article we are going to tell you how to prevent alcoholism in young people, since it is the best solution to avoid falling into addiction. You will find arguments against alcohol for young people and the negative effects and consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.
First you need to know the effects of alcohol. The consumption of alcohol has consequences at any age, whether its consumption is punctual (social drinker) or continued. In the case of young people these are some of the consequences of occasional alcohol use:
- To lose control.
- Respond in a violent manner.
- Forget what was done or said while drunk.
- Lose consciousness
- Cause traffic accidents.
- Put your health and physical and moral integrity at risk.
- Decreased performance in school.
- Get in trouble with the law.
- Unwanted pregnancies and ETS.
- High risk of becoming addicted.
- Later regret for the way you act, feel ashamed or ridiculous.
- Facilitate the use of other drugs.
The general consequences of continued consumption They range from specific problems, to the development of diseases and even death. Let's see some of those consequences:
- Memory loss.
- Depression, insecurity and low self-esteem.
- Decreased cognitive abilities.
- Delirium tremens as a consequence of withdrawal: visual hallucinations, delusions, emotional lability and stupor. Tremors and seizures may also appear.
- Hepatic cirrhosis.
- Increased chance of getting some types of cancer.
- Heart diseases.
- Family and work problems.
- Physical dependence with corresponding withdrawal symptoms when consumption is stopped.
- Traffic accidents.
- Sexual problems such as decreased desire or impotence.
- Changes in the menstrual cycle.
- Increase in violence.
- Economic problems.
According to WHO data alcohol use kills 3 million people a year.
If you wonder why adolescents start to consume alcohol, here you can see the causes of alcoholism in young people.
How to avoid alcoholism in young people? Some of the strategies to control, prevent and reduce alcohol consumption are the following:
- Regulation of the sale of alcohol through taxes. In most countries there are already high taxes on alcoholic beverages.
- Make it difficult to access alcohol. Increasing the age at which it is allowed to buy or consume alcohol as other countries do can help prevent it from starting at an early age. Reducing the businesses that are allowed to sell alcohol, as has happened with tobacco, would also make it difficult for young people to access this substance.
- School awareness programs. Apply a prevention and awareness program regularly in the courses from the beginning of adolescence.
- Establish more leisure spaces without alcohol. Prohibit the consumption of alcohol in certain leisure spaces such as those related to sports. In addition, encourage the organization of non-alcoholic activities such as non-alcoholic discos for young people, concerts without alcohol, etc.
- Prevention through education and example. How to reduce alcohol consumption in young people? Teach your sons and daughters incompatible values with alcohol and other drugs. But remember to be an example, it is useless to talk to a teenager about alcohol consumption with a beer in hand.
- Inform them of the consequences. Carefully explain to them the seriousness of the consequences of alcohol consumption both short and long term. They always understand it better by using examples or by telling them close cases.
- Reduce risk factors by strengthening some skills. Many young people and in general many people drink because they feel safer under the influence of alcohol. Strengthening your social skills and self-esteem will prevent this from happening.
- Teach them alternatives to alcohol. The more alternatives to alcohol your sons or daughters know, the further they will be from consuming it. Reading, movies, dancing, music, video games, sports, hobbies... Encourage the performance of these activities as much as possible to reduce the chances of consuming alcohol.
- Healthy habits. To get young people to consume less alcoholic beverages, measures such as establishing healthy habits can be applied. It is one of the most effective strategies against alcohol consumption. Healthy meals are all the rage, as are exercise routines.
- Dynamics to work drugs with teenagers. From educational centers, workshops and activities can be held to expose and sensitize young people with the consequences of alcoholism. You can also perform role-playing exercises to learn to manage risk situations such as peer pressure to consume alcohol.
Starting to drink in adolescence is one of the risk factors for becoming addicted to alcohol. Alcoholism is a disease with serious health consequences. That is why it is important to establish activities incompatible with consumption of alcohol in the routine of young people.
- Sport. Sport and alcohol are incompatible, at least in their realization. Encouraging sports can be essential for the prevention of alcohol consumption. Organize leagues, competitions and sports days they can encourage sports and gatherings and reduce the leisure-alcohol ratio.
- Leisure without alcohol. As we have already seen in the case of sport, with other forms of leisure the fun-alcohol association can be reduced. For example, with events related to music, video games, dance, etc. Setting a lower price for young people in some places like the cinema makes it easier for them to access. To prevent alcoholism in adolescents, it is important to promote leisure without alcohol.
- Meeting spaces. Either in public spaces or giving the house to your children so that they can meet up with their friends to watch a movie, play board games or talk about their things. All without alcohol.
- Contests. You can do contests for almost anything. If we encourage the organization of contests, we will keep young people away from alcohol and thus reduce adolescent alcoholism.
Here you can see others tips to prevent drug addiction in teens.
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.