Although alcohol misuse can present dangers and health risks across all age groups - the effects are a lot more prominent in youngsters who aren’t yet fully developed.
Because a young person is still growing and developing, this makes them particularly vulnerable to the long-term damage caused by alcohol. Just a few examples of problems that may occur later on in life include:
• Cancer of the throat and mouth
• Sexual and mental health problems
• Liver cirrhosis
• Heart disease
• Research also suggests that drinking alcohol in adolescence can harm the development of the brain
Whilst youngsters may think that any damage they are causing is going to happen so far in the future that it’s not worth worrying about, there has actually been a sharp increase in the number of people who have died in their twenties from liver disease as a result of drinking heavily in their teens.
It’s not just long-term issues that may impact the lives of young drinkers however. One in five girls and one in ten boys aged 14-15 say that they have gone further than they wanted to in a sexual experience after drinking alcohol. In serious cases, alcohol has also led to youngsters becoming the victim of sexual assault.
Four out of ten secondary school aged children have also been involved in some form of violence because of drinking. Every year in the UK alone, more than 10,000 fines for being drunk and disorderly are issued to young people aged 16 to 19. Worryingly, children as young as 12 have also been known to be charged with criminal damage to other people’s property as a result of drinking.
Finally, young people who regularly drink alcohol are twice as likely to miss school and get poor grades compared to those who don’t drink. Almost half of young people excluded from school in the UK are regular drinkers.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Page for more information. You can also contact us for help today.