Teenage alcoholism is a life-threatening problem. Studies show that over three million teens are currently abusing alcohol. And despite these discouraging figures, there is so much that can be done to help teens beat their addiction.

Cause and Effect

The cause and effect of teen alcoholism differ dramatically when comparing adults suffering from alcohol dependency. Far too often, both teens and adults are treated as if they are the same. As a result, the outlook for teen recovery from alcohol abuse is bleak. Statistics show that teens who abuse alcohol are more likely to relapse after receiving generic treatment for their drinking problem.

Brain Development

During adolescence, a teenager goes through both biological and psychological changes. In addition to the known physical changes, a young person’s brain is also developing ways to function more effectively. This is accomplished by eliminating unnecessary synapses within the brain. This process allows their brains to function more efficiently once they reach adulthood.

The teenage years are imperative to healthy cognitive function in adulthood, so it’s crucial to maintain healthy behaviors during these formative years. Teen alcoholism can dramatically impact the brain’s ability to function in the short-term. Furthermore, it can also inhibit proper growth and development for later in life.

Alcohol abuse affects a teenager’s brain development by:

  • Reduces ability to experience pleasure
  • Interferes with neurotransmitters and damages the brain’s inner connections
  • Inhibits development of perceptual ability
  • Causes memory problems

In addition to the risk of dependence, teenage alcoholism poses serious physical risks as well. Research shows that excessive alcohol consumption in teens can result in the following physical anomalies:

  • Lower bone mineral density levels
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Delayed puberty

Social Risks of Alcohol Abuse

In addition to the numerous physical risks, alcohol abuse has many other consequences that can haunt teenagers into their adulthood. Because alcohol abuse can cloud judgment and reasoning, teens often make rash decisions.

teenage alcoholismThe negative side effects of teenage alcohol dependence go far beyond the physiological and biological factors including:

  • Criminal offenses
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Damage to relationships with family and friends
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Loss of educational direction

Signs and Symptoms

Knowing the signs and symptoms of underage drinking is the first step towards recovery. Teens abusing alcohol typically exhibit behavioral changes including:

  • Poor school attendance and falling grades
  • Sloppy appearance
  • Rebelling against the rules

Types of Treatment

Treating teenage alcohol abuse is complex. Just as no two teens are alike, neither is the treatment for their alcohol dependence. When you come to Centered Health for your teen’s alcohol abuse, you are welcomed in a calm and tranquil setting. We will perform a number of different examinations that best allow us to understand your teen’s specific needs.

Our inpatient treatment programs allow teens to participate in multiple individual therapy sessions throughout the week. Centered Health also offers both holistic and creative therapies to help teens find their way back down that bumpy road. Helping your teen discover the reason they started drinking alcohol in the first place allows us to build a solid foundation to avoid relapse.

Our treatment team is made up of specialists who only work with teenagers.  Teens benefit because they have unique needs that can be addressed at Centered Health.

If your teen struggles with alcohol addiction, contact us and we’ll answer your questions and help you navigate the road to recovery.