Every time someone speaks about teen drinking issue they tend to repeat all the same things. Yes, they are a great problem and they may cause serious consequences that will scar a child for life, but by doing that they leave out other problems that teen drinking causes. Unfortunately for us all there is more to it than just drunk driving and unwanted pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, both of those are serious issues, but compared to the rest they may as well stand in line to fight for the most dangerous effect of teenage drinking.
There are numerous problems besides teen pregnancy and drunk driving; one of the most dangerous ones is brain damage or inadequate brain development. Alcohol affects the brain development, the earlier the teenager starts drinking direr the consequences may be. Research shows that the each year that passes and teenagers doesn’t start drinking the risk of brain damage and alcohol addiction is reduced by 14%. On the other hand, if a teenager starts drinking at the age of 14 there are very high chances that he will become addicted to alcohol; the brain damage on the other hand can’t be estimated. If you check the stats you will see that over two thirds of straight A students are non drinkers, while more than two thirds of D students are heavily drinkers.
There are other problems that are related to teenage drinking, like suicide and consumption of other substances like marijuana, ecstasy and other drugs. Alcohol and depression is one of the most dangerous combinations for a teenager, which often leads to suicide attempts. Statistics show that teenagers that drink have twice as more chances of attempting a suicide than non drinkers; teenagers that drink excessively are four times more likely to attempt a suicide than nondrinkers.
A recent study at the Harvard medical school showed that girl teenagers drinking alcohol on daily basis are five times more likely to develop a benign breast cancer than a nondrinker. This is a very serious issue and it makes you wonder what other effects alcohol has on a developing teenager. There may be numerous other unwanted effects of alcohol for a child in development. Just the fact that we have teenagers at the age of 16 that are already heavy drinkers is alarming. Heavy drinking by teens is something we allowed to happen as parents and it is our duty to prevent that from happening. It’s not the issue here if we failed as parents; the issue here is what are we going to do not to fail in the future, for our kid’s sake and for the sake of their future.