- drug facts
- open letter on marijuana
- common signs on drug use
- drug proofing your child
- helping or hurting?
- parent tip sheet
- what parents can do
- prevention tips
- alcohol and youth
How Does Alcohol Work?
(see answer) Alcohol is a drug. Like heroin or tranquilizers, it can alter moods, cause changes in the body, and become habit forming.
Is Alcohol an "Upper" or a "Downer"?
(see answer) Alcohol is a "downer." It actually depresses the central nervous system. That's why drinking too much causes slowed reactions, slurred speech and sometimes even unconsciousness ("passing out").
Which Packs More Punch: Liquor or Beer?
(see answer) Neither. There is about the same amount of alcohol in a 12-ounce can of beer as there is in a mixed drink that contains 1-1/2 ounces of liquor -- or, for that matter, in a 5-ounce glass of wine. So, don't let anyone tell you that "a few beers can't hurt." Just remember that each beer is as potent as a scotch and water.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Teenage Body?
(see answer) Unfortunately, there have been few studies done on the physiological effects of alcohol on youth. We do know that the smaller the body, the greater the effect of the alcohol. The long term effects of the youth's physical development are uncertain. When alcohol is consumed in large quantities in a single sitting, acute inflammation of the stomach or pancreas, pneumonia, cessation of breathing and death sometimes occur. Alcohol is also the most frequent contributor to the leading cause of death in teenagers. Half their deaths can be attributed to alcohol-impaired driving and 50 to 60 percent of all adolescent suicides involve the use of alcohol.
What are the Mental and Emotional Consequences to Young People Who Use Alcohol?
(see answer) The single most dangerous and immediate consequence of alcohol use by young people may be that it seems both to produce and justify uninhibited behavior. Alcohol use is associated with a false sense of confidence, even invulnerability, that often leads to disregard for the health, safety and welfare of self and others.
Some examples: a 16-year old decides to show off his newly acquired driving skills after a weekend party; a young woman accepts a sexual advance that results in an unwanted pregnancy; on a dare, a 12-year-old rides no-handed though a crowded intersection.
Youth who use alcohol also risk impairing their performance in school. Adolescent problem drinkers are less successful in school. Academic achievement declines as the regularity and intensity of alcohol and drug use increases.
What are the Ways in Which Social Development is Impaired by Alcohol Use?
(see answer) Drinking impedes the development of a wide range of skills and competencies required for gaining self-confidence, for maintaining healthy relationships, and for fulfilling potential. Young people in the period of rapid growth are choosing friends and learning about competition and cooperation, negotiation, and problem solving. Most are learning to accept the consequences of their behavior and are on their way to becoming responsible adults.
If children learn to use alcohol to relive awkwardness or to numb such common emotions as pain, or anger, they bypass the practice of social skills, and a cycle of dependency is likely to result. When alcohol use substitutes for acquiring social competencies, social development is arrested and long term problems my ensue.
Source: Dateline Dream, April/May 1996