Alcohol and Teens (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Alcohol and teens facts
- How much alcohol do teens use?
- What are the dangerous effects of alcohol use in teens?
- How can parents prevent alcohol use?
- What are the symptoms and signs of alcohol intoxication?
- What is alcoholism?
- What are the causes and risk factors of teen alcoholism?
- What are the symptoms of alcohol abuse in teens?
- What is the treatment for alcohol intoxication?
- What is alcohol poisoning?
- What is the treatment for alcoholism?
- How can a teen get help for an alcohol problem?
How can parents prevent alcohol use?
Clear communication by parents about the negative effects of alcohol, as well as about their expectations regarding drug use, have been found to significantly decrease alcohol use in teens. Adequate parental supervision has also been found to be a deterrent to alcohol use in youth. Alcohol, and other drug use, has been found to occur most often between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., immediately after school and prior to parents' arrival at home from work. Teen participation in extracurricular activities has therefore been revealed to be an important measure in preventing use of alcohol in this age group. Parents can also help educate teens about appropriate coping and stress-management strategies. For example, 15- to 16-year-olds who use religion to cope with stress tend to use drugs significantly less often and have less problems as a result of drinking than their peers who do not use religion to cope.
What are the symptoms and signs of alcohol intoxication?
Signs that indicate people are intoxicated include the smell of alcohol on their breath or skin, glazed or bloodshot eyes, being unusually passive or argumentative, and/or deterioration in appearance or hygiene. Other symptoms of intoxication include flushed skin and memory loss.
What is alcoholism?
As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, alcoholism (alcohol dependence) is a negative pattern of alcohol use leading to a number of problems, which may include needing more alcohol to get intoxicated (tolerance), difficulties that occur when the effects of alcohol wear off (withdrawal), using more alcohol or for longer time than intended, and other life problems because of the use of alcohol.
Five stages of alcohol and drug use have been identified. The first stage is described as access to alcohol rather than use of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, or other drugs. In that stage, minimizing the risk factors that make a teenager more vulnerable to using alcohol are an issue. The second stage of alcohol and other drug use ranges from experimentation or occasional use to regular weekly use of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, or other drugs. The third stage is characterized by youths further increasing the frequency of alcohol use and/or using alcohol and other drugs on a regular basis. This stage may also include the teenager either buying drugs or stealing to get drugs. In the fourth stage of alcohol and drug use, adolescents have established regular usage, have become preoccupied with getting intoxicated ("high") and have developed problems in their social, educational, vocational, or family life as a result of using the substance. The final and most serious fifth stage of alcohol or other drug use is defined by the youth only feeling normal when they are using. During this stage, risk-taking behaviors like stealing, engaging in physical fights, or driving while intoxicated increase, and they become most vulnerable to having suicidal thoughts.
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