Young people and alcohol
Unlike adults, young people rarely drink, but they are almost always intent on getting drunk. Their world view does not recognize objective risks, and in alcohol they see a possibility that gives them relaxation and spontaneity.
Since it is impossible to fully predict how alcohol affects the mind and body, its consumption is particularly risky for adolescents who lack judgment and are confronted with the stress associated with alcohol consumption. It is important to know that adolescents are not talking about alcoholism, but about alcohol abuse and the risk of early drinking.
- The long-term consequences of alcohol abuse in adolescence are quite devastating since it is a period of intense growth and development.
- A particular danger lies in the fact that this is a period of intense development of the frontal lobe of the brain.
- The lobe is in charge of planning, thinking, problem solving, recognizing and managing emotions and social skills.
- A teenager’s brain is not only close to maturity, but the gray and white masses go through major structural changes after puberty.
Therefore, the consumption of alcohol during this delicate period of brain corpus production will have lasting and serious consequences for the future functioning of the individual.
With long-term effects of alcohol consumption, there are also many short-term consequences, such as: mood swings – alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and, as such, creates a feeling of lightheadedness and apathy, restless sleep, alcohol intoxication with dangerous consequences, poorer academic performance, distorted perception and coordination, inadequate judgment that can lead to accidents, problems with the law and other forms of risky behavior (e.g. unwanted pregnancy, consumption of other illicit drugs traffic offenses and accidents).
Many parents are not sure when and how to talk to their children about topics such as alcohol. Some parents think this doesn’t even need to be said if all goes well for fear that the conversation won’t become a trigger. However, we are not aware that we are sending them a message even with such behavior when avoiding the topic.
Consuming it in reality is “we talk about it” even when we are silent.
Alcohol is omnipresent and the parental home is always first and foremost from which drinking habits and culture derive. Of course, the problem with its complexity goes beyond the confines of the family home, but the fact is, nonetheless, that lack of family supervision is the main reason young people get drunk.
- The children themselves say that they tried their first sips of alcohol at their parents’ homes.
- For this reason, the parent is obliged to talk to the children about alcohol.
It is never too early to start talking about this topic, as children alone ask many questions and often show an interest in alcohol. Obviously they show interest especially if you have a glass of alcohol in front of you.
They wonder what you are drinking, what is the smell and taste.
- You are important to them, so everything you do for them is important, right from the first stage.
- We think a little better within our culture, it is customary to adore alcohol at every occasion, and often during children’s birthday parties.
- As you can even deduce, the history of alcohol with many of us begins very early and it is spoken by parents and other important people to the children.
- It is important to let children see how sensitive they are to alcohol and how harmful alcohol is (obviously, all in accordance with the child’s age).
It is equally important to answer your questions because you so clearly indicate that questions are welcome. Gradually, on several occasions, talk to the children on the subject. Together, set the boundaries and rules you want the children to abide by. This is how a good foundation is set for the days of adolescence.