Neurological Risks Associated with Teen Drinking
The cost of early heavy drinking may extend far beyond the time that drinking takes away for studies, developing social skills or even for other growing-up related tasks.
Studies show that early drinking causes damage to developing brains like that of teenagers. In fact, some reports have been published telling parents that they should be worried if young children or adolescents are drinking since alcohol abuse does injury on younger brain cells more than it does to those of the adults. This corrects the presumption that people can drink heavily for years before a significant damage can happen to them in later years.
This might explain why those who start drinking early become alcoholics as they age. An astounding 47% of those who start drinking at age 14 become alcohol dependents at some time in their life compared to only 9% of those who wait until they turn 21 before they start drinking.
Research done in San Diego also showed that alcoholic teens perform poorly in school. They have difficulty dealing with attention focusing, verbal and non-verbal memory, and exercising spatial skills like those of reading a map or assemble a precut bookcase. “There is no doubt about it: there are long-term cognitive consequences to excessive drinking of alcohol in adolescence,” said Aaron White, an assistant research professor in the psychiatry department at Duke University. Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, a neuropsychologist at Duke also adds that “teenagers can drink far more than adults before they get sleepy enough to stop, but along the way they’re impairing their cognitive functions much more powerfully.”
This should be enough warning for parents to be conscious of their children’s activities. They might overlook something as simple as adolescents experimenting on alcoholic drinks. Before it becomes too late, find activities that can help develop self-discipline to discourage early alcohol abuse.Tags: effects of teen drinking, teen alcohol abuse, teen drug abuse, teen heavy drinking