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Teenage drinking is something that has been taking place in various societies for centuries; for instance, in the pre-Revolutionary America. During this time, young trainees had the opportunity to access buckets of ale. The trend has continued and, in the recent times, teenagers have become regular drinkers. In the past years, there have been attempts to regulate teenage drinking. The temperance societies made a commitment to implement program that would guard against alcohol drinking for school-going children. The pledge made in1830 was a lifelong commitment to safeguard teenage drinking. Today, all stakeholders including public health professionals run awareness campaigns to sensitize the society against teenage drinking because of the increased risk of alcoholism. In this attempt, a number of debates have emerged not only with regard to policy creation and administration but also to the neurological ones. The cost of heavy drinking is far-reaching. Alcohol abuse among teenagers causes brain damage especially for the developing brains. This implies that it is likely that a teenager’s brain is more prone to be damaged than that of an adult alcohol drinker. Heavy teenage drinkers are likely to have their neurological capacity development hindered. When this happens, an individual may lose the realization that alcoholism is neurologically bad and as such, would not see the reason to quit. Other than neurological concerns, teenage alcoholism may lead to binge drinking also known as heavy drinking in one single drinking session. The other risks of alcoholism among teenagers include susceptibility to unprotected sex, drink driving causing accidents or injury and death to the affected individual.
Teenage alcoholism increases teenage chances of violating the law and having troubles with the police. Underage drinkers born into larger cohorts are prone to arrests for assault and vandalism compared to those born to less significant cohorts. This is important because vandalism and assault crimes are related to intoxication brought about by alcoholism. On the other hand, members of cohorts who are in an environment with strict underage drinking legislations and strong law enforcement procedures are less likely to face police arrests for vandalism and assault. There is a suggestion that teenage drinking can be controlled by policy creation and subsequent implementation of strict measures to curb teenage alcoholism. This observation is concurrent with the findings of Barnum et al. (2012) that “underage drinking by 15- to 20-year-olds has an enduring impact on behavior, then law enforcement’s efforts in imposing underage possession laws may be instrumental in reducing both adolescent and subsequent adult drinking and intoxication” (p. 9).
There is a number of interventions to fight teenage alcohol abuse. To begin with, alcoholism among teenagers is a psychological problem which implies that it can be corrected by Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBP). CBT is a treatment mechanism that is delivered by psychologists involved in mental health issues to people with substance abuse disorders. CBT offers special accent on teenage desires, relapse prevention, and permissive beliefs. The therapy sessions could take several weeks depending on the severity of the disorder. The second treatment intervention is the use of alcohol detox to get rid of harmful alcohol toxins in the body. This treatment method only takes a few days, a period during which the person under treatment may show withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol detox may make a person hallucinate, have mood swings, irritability, or depression. Finally, a victim of alcohol abuse should be counseled either in a group or individually. In the counseling session, a teenager should be as open as possible to discuss the possible root cause of the problem and the difficulties in quitting the behavior. Peer group counseling should be recommended, because teens are closely tied to specific peer groups. Regardless of the chosen treatment method, it is important to develop aftercare program for carrying out follow-up activities.
Teenage alcoholism is an addiction that, from the above discussion, affects the teenagers more than the adults. This is because alcohol affects brain development of the young and makes them so addicted that getting out of the problem becomes significantly difficult. Teenagers are affected more than adults, and this explains why alcohol addiction is more rampant in teenagers than it is in adults. Policy creation and subsequent implementation is a critical avenue in curbing alcoholism among teenagers. Similarly, neurological effects caused by teenage alcoholism relate to the methods adopted in curbing the social problem. This relationship arises because teenage addition to alcohol affects brain development. Therefore, confronting the psychological problems through psychoanalysts is a way of addressing the issue. CBP helps in changing psychological mindset of the affected teenagers and help in rebuilding their neurological stability. Vandalism and assault, on the other hand, can be resolved via implementation of alcohol abuse legislations. The police can assist in arresting policy offenders hence putting the problem to rest.
Teenage alcohol addiction and its effect has been buttressed by Butler (2006) who writes, “47 percent of those who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 14 become alcohol dependent at some time in their lives, compared with 9 percent of those who wait at least until age 21.” The consequences of this addiction is that it causes damage to the brain since laboratory evidence shows that binge drinking causes cellular harm to hippocampus and forebrain according to the experiment carried out on rats. This is an indication that the results can be related to human beings although no research has been conducted to affirm this assumption. The other problem associated with addiction to alcohol among teenagers is that it leads to binge or heavy drinking. Binge drinking is associated with binge effects like hangovers, nausea and vomiting, shaking, and headaches. In Australia, 10% of teenagers pass the recommended 4 standard drinks in one drinking session every single week (Better Health Channel, 2012). Consequently, “large English survey found that over 5% of 14-15 year olds, and just under 10% of 15-16 year olds reported exceeding the maximum limits of regular consumption recommended for adults” (Institute of Alcohol Studies, n.d., p. 17).
The limitation of the research on the effects of alcohol on rats confirms the damage caused by alcohol consumption. However, the fact that it has not been tried on human beings confirms the need for more research. The figure quoted in the research is, therefore, inaccurate and cannot be used in statistical representation. Even though there is consistency in the percentage of teenagers who are binge drinkers in Victoria Australia and England, the figures cannot be assumed to represent global percentages. This is due to other factors that contribute to binge drinking.
The discussion posted in this essay is an indication of how dreadful alcoholism could be to the society. The fact that it impairs the proper functioning of the human body is disastrous. For instance, a drinking driver is likely to cause accident that can lead to death or body harm. The results of this discussion show that there are teenagers at risk of alcohol consumption, and this may affect their long-term health. The biggest problem in teenage drinking is damage caused to the brain. It causes relapses and weariness that can be associated with the impact of alcohol on brain. In addition, mental distraction caused by alcohol could be the reason why alcohol abusers become unruly and disobey the law.
Researches on the effect of teenage alcoholism on human development require more funds from the federal government. This could be a costly adventure to undertake. Moreover, there is emphasis on policy creation and implementation whereas sensitization of the public on the adverse effects of alcoholic teenagers would be more significant. The sensitization initiative is a long-term solution that would trickle down to household level. Everybody can be engaged in the fight against alcohol consumption if proper channels to reach the people at grassroots level are instituted. Citizens become rebellious if there is much legislation that restricts their freedom. Therefore, the policy creation should be done is such a way that the majority support the initiative. The short-term solution to curbing abuse of alcohol among teenagers, however, is encouraging the police to arrest and charge criminal offenders.
Alcohol addiction in teenage is a real problem that could pose consequential dangers for the generations to come. This paper has argued that teenage alcoholism has adverse health effects and long-term damages affecting the future lives of abusers. The rising cases of insecurity in the society can also be attributed to alcoholic teenagers. To rectify the situation, government has to develop strategies to curb the rising level of the menace. For example, policy creation and implementation is critical. To create robust legislations and health care interventions, the government has to invest in research. More funds have to be committed towards solving the burning social problem of teenage alcoholism. The long-term solution to teenage alcohol abuse would be engagement of the society in all sorts of measures. The proposal to reach household level in managing this problem would yield long-term and sustainable solutions. In this regard, the government ought to give priority to reaching families and community leaders in addressing the problem. The society must embrace the changes for fruitful outcomes.
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