Alcohol abuse is a problem in all walks of life, but underage teens are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of alcohol consumption. Excessive drinking can be dangerous for people of all ages, and the risk of developing an alcohol or drug problem has no expiration date. In fact, many people develop a problem later in life, with 10-15% of people beginning to drink heavily in their forties, according to a study conducted by Drinkaware.
Furthermore, young adults are frequently uninformed about the effects of alcohol on their minds and bodies. Therefore, they rely on their peers’ limited information and frequently disregard discussions they may have had with authority figures about the dangers of underage drinking.
Adolescents who are under the influence of alcohol are more likely to engage in risky sexual encounters, jeopardize their physical well-being through risky behavior, and fall deeper down the rabbit hole of problematic drug and alcohol relationships in the future.
Data taken in 2021 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicated that at least 414,000 American adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 years old had an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The disturbing trend to this is that more and more underage teenagers are not only enjoying drinking alcohol but doing it recklessly.
Considering the involved age, the statistics are alarming. Research also shows, that more than 140,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes each year. The topic is being scrutinized heavily, as the number of injuries and deaths due to drinking alcohol and drug overdoses keeps increasing. Luckily, addiction specialists are finding effective ways to prevent the harmful consequences of binge drinking.
Peer Pressure also might potentially result in alcohol addiction, which would later require alcoholism treatment. Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare in Prescott Valley, Arizona can help you or a loved one break the cycle of addiction and recover.
What Is the Role of Peer Pressure in Teenage Drinking?
Young adults are infinitely curious. They are at a stage where their brains seek to soak up as much information and experience as possible. This, of course, necessarily includes experiences provided by things normally reserved for adults, such as drinking alcohol.
Alcohol is a central nervous depressant, which makes it ideal to relieve a person of tension and stress when it all gets to be too much, much like what a typical teenager goes through. The combination of hormones, growing pains, and social awkwardness all add to a teenager’s stress. Since the adolescent years are among the most eventful, turbulent, and chaotic times in a person’s life, they’re more than willing to try anything to help them through the confusing phase they are in. Alcohol is accessible and an obvious choice.
Being particularly susceptible to suggestions, young adults soon go from experimenting and socially drinking to becoming dependent on alcohol to help them numb, forget, and relieve their stressors. Unfortunately, this method’s effects last temporarily and have negative consequences. The lamentable part is that this comes with a heavy price, typically in the form of alcohol addiction, which adolescents are arguably more susceptible to.
Bad Advice for Impressionable Minds
Teenagers will naturally seek help for the conflict and confusion brought on by their transitioning phase, and this becomes problematic when the help comes from questionable sources. In most cases, young adults are more likely to confide in their peers rather than their parents or family. From a young age, our brains are impressionable.
Humans are natural observers. What we see family or friends do in our environment, we naturally tend to want to follow suit. The difference is, people with addiction vs those without an addictive brain, can’t say no. Their minds are wired to make poor choices and engage in addictive behavior.
Finding Activities to Relieve Stress
Stress is not an exclusive thing for adults, as more and more teenagers complain of just how stressful their young lives are turning out to be. The best way to deal with this is to find a way to release your feelings so they don’t exceed unmanageable levels, which tends to force people into regrettable decisions later on.
Some activities don’t just train the body, but the mind as well. This is why competitive sporting events never go out of fashion. Sports will not only teach a person about healthy competition, but it will also imbue a person with the needed coping mechanisms to deal with stress and addiction.
Know the Company You Keep
Teenagers could and should always choose the kind of people they would want to be with. The problem with peer pressure is that those who engage in it are the worst kind of people to be with, as they will not only push the people around them into making bad decisions, but they will also convince the people they influence that they have their best interests at heart.
There’s wisdom in determining what kind of people are around you, as there are simply some people that no one should associate with as they are likely to lead everyone into trouble. There is a need to teach teenagers that the right crowd will never force them into anything detrimental to their well-being.
How Can Peer Pressure and Alcoholism Be Avoided?
With each generation, humans are progressively becoming more intelligent, fact-oriented, and more inclined to engage in critical thinking. These qualities and available resources could help people avoid peer pressure and underage drinking, as they learn to become more aware of the consequences of their actions.
There is Hope and Recovery at Granite Mountain
An adult brain is different than an adolescent one. They say, that the brain doesn’t finish developing and maturing until someone’s mid-to-late 20s. Alcoholism can not only stunt a young adult’s development, but it could also become a lifelong problem if left untreated.
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, Granite Mountain offers drug rehab for teens, programs specifically designed to help adolescence.
We want to lead people on a journey to a happier and healthier life free of alcoholism. There is hope for true recovery and lasting sobriety at Granite Mountain. Contact us today.