If you are a parent of a teenager, alcohol use and teenage alcoholism is a major issue that is ever present and unfortunately overlooked. According to information provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one of every three high school students reports they binge drink at least once a month. Additionally, SAMHSA reports that 9 million young people between the ages of 12 and 20 reported drinking alcohol in the last month. Teenage drinkers comprise 25% of the 12-20 age group and account for 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States.
Reasons Why Teenagers Turn To Alcohol
The teenage years are a time of growth, exploration, and vulnerability. As teens face increasing peer pressure feel the need to be accepted by their peers, many experiment with alcohol in order to “fit in”, rebel against their parents and to have fun. The average age that a young person first starts experimenting with alcohol is 12 years of age, and it is estimated that every day in the United States, more than 4,750 young people under the age of 16 will take their first drink of alcohol. With its easy availability and low cost, alcohol is a cheap and dangerous high for teenagers.
Chemical dependency is a treatable disease that affects families as well as the individual. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is the primary illness with serious secondary complications that affect body, mind and spirit (emotions). Recovery requires healing of the whole individual, as well as of the family.