People typically think of alcohol abuse as an adult-oriented problem. After all, the legal drinking age is 21 in the United States. However, more and more young teens find themselves struggling with alcohol abuse. Underage drinking is clearly a growing problem, but why?
What Is Underage Drinking?
As the name suggests, underage drinking refers to people who are too young to drink alcohol. Keep in mind, however, that it doesn’t always mean that young people abuse alcohol. It simply means that they drink it before they’re legally allowed to do so. Alcohol abuse occurs when they binge or heavily drink on a regular basis.
Dangers of Drinking Under the Legal Age
The government set the legal drinking age to 21 for a reason. Studies show that younger drinkers are more likely to develop drinking problems in adulthood.
The problem stems from the effects of alcohol on the underdeveloped mind. For starters, it has a high potential for abuse. The main issue, however, is that alcohol abuse causes chemical changes much faster in young people than in older drinkers.
Why Do People Start Drinking Alcohol Under the Legal Age?
There are many reasons why teens start using alcohol and drugs. Some of them do it simply to fit in. They see their friends doing it and don’t want them to think that they’re afraid to participate.
Other times, they start using drugs to make new friends. They feel like have to drink so that others will like them. In any case, social influence is a big factor that contributes to teen drinking.
Another reason is due to the picture that the media paints for alcohol. From music to movies, it’s often in the limelight. Additionally, media sources typically make drinking look fun and enjoyable. Even some restaurants promote drinking with specials like happy hour.
Teens also start drinking because they want an escape from their problems. While their troubles might seem trivial to adults, they’re significant to teens. They can range from breakups to bad grades at school. Whatever the cause, the problems are enough to stress out teens, which makes them turn to alcohol for relief.
Take a Stand Against Underage Alcohol Abuse
At The Hills Treatment Center, we stand against underage alcohol abuse. Our goal is to stop teen drug and alcohol abuse with programs that work. We create custom treatment plans for every teen or adult who arrives at our facility. Some of the programs that we offer include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- On-site drug detox services
- Gender-specific programs
- LGBTQ-specialized treatment
- Life skills training
Don’t let underage drinking cause any more problems in your life. Find out how you can fight back against it. Reach out to our helpful and friendly staff at 866-322-7820 for more information.