When your child becomes involved in underage drinking near Fort Lauderdale, the results can be devastating. Alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse can significantly impair your teen’s physical, mental, and emotional health, and can impact every other aspect of his personal and academic life. Here is a look at some of the most common and dangerous effects of underage drinking.
Delayed Brain Development
Scientists have determined that the brain does not become fully developed until around the age of 24. The areas of the brain that continue developing in adolescents are areas responsible for stress response, managing drives, critical thinking, and understanding the consequences of actions. Underage drinking can significantly stunt, delay, or prevent brain development in these areas. Alcohol can also damage the frontal regions of the brain, causing lifelong neurological problems. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may also cause seizures, which can further damage the brain.
Increased Risk of Emotional and Mental Health Problems
Underage drinking also greatly increases a teen’s risk of suffering from emotional and mental health problems. Teen alcohol abuse can contribute to depression, anxiety, personality changes, and other serious emotional and psychological symptoms. Chronic or heavy alcohol abuse may put a teen at a higher risk of suicidal thoughts, ideation, and suicide attempts. The neurological problems associated with alcohol abuse and alcohol withdrawal can also increase a teen’s risk of developing mental health problems later in life.
Social and Academic Difficulties
Chronic alcohol abuse can decrease school performance, and even cause teens to stop going to school entirely. Studies have shown that teens who participate in underage drinking miss classes, fall behind in school work, perform badly on papers and exams, and receive lower grades overall. Alcohol abuse and underage drinking also put extreme stress on a teen’s social and familial relationships. The other problems that result from underage drinking have a significant effect on relationships with family and friends. Teens also tend to lie more, break house rules, get into fights more often, and hang out with other teens with substance abuse problems, further degrading their social and familial relationships.