2013-06-03 12:35:38 by Public Relations staff, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.
Although the latest stats on alcohol use and teens show it’s at an all-time low, teenage drinking is still an ongoing issue.
Teens’ brains are not yet fully developed, so drinking alcohol in adolescence can affect the neurological pathways in their developing brains, said Dr. Nneka Holder, an adolescent medicine specialist at Akron Children’s Hospital.
“The earlier they start, the more likely it is to lead to alcohol abuse,” said Dr. Holder.
There are a number of reasons why teens may experiment with alcohol. Some may drink to appear older. Others may use it to feel more comfortable with friends or because of peer pressure or low self-esteem.
Some teens may suffer from depression and use alcohol in an attempt to feel better.
Know the dangers
Dr. Nneka Holder
“Besides its effects on developing brains, alcohol use can lead to motor vehicle accidents, violence and poor judgment, especially in sexual situations,” said Dr. Holder. “If a teen is already suffering from depression, alcohol use can lead to suicide. And alcohol poisoning from binge drinking can be fatal.”
In addition to the health risks, underage drinking is illegal. The punishment, as well as repercussions for driving under the influence, can be quite severe.
Discuss the risks
Discuss the consequences of drinking with your teen and have a plan in place to help keep him safe. Strategize with your teen about how to respond to peer pressure to drink.
Let your teen know she can call you at anytime if she wants to leave a party where alcohol is being consumed. Make sure she knows she should never get behind the wheel if she’s been drinking or be a passenger in a car with someone who’s been drinking.
Here are 6 points for parents to keep in mind regarding teens and alcohol.
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