Alcohol Abuse and Our Youth
The latest data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shines light on the scope of the country’s alcohol addiction. Detox is the first step to recovery for the thousands of our neighbors, family members, co-workers and loved ones who are afflicted with this disease.
“Slightly more than half of Americans aged 12 or older report being current drinkers of alcohol,” SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), reports. “There were 139.7 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older, with 23% classified as binge drinkers and 6.2% as heavy drinkers.” SAMHSA’s research further indicates that 6.4%, of those Americans “met criteria for an alcohol-use disorder in the past year.” When you do that math, that means that approximately 17 million Americans are struggling with some form of alcohol addiction.
The form of alcohol-use disorder that most people are probably familiar with is excessive alcohol use. That includes underage drinking and binge drinking, which SAMHSA defines as “drinking 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women.”
We know that alcohol can impair a person’s ability to drive safely and you may know that alcohol abuse can do a number on your liver, but did you also know that drinking too much can increase your risk of developing brain damage, heart disease and hypertension. And even though there is widespread awareness of the damage alcohol can do to an unborn baby, pregnant women in the throes of addiction continue to drink.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Alcohol use causes 88,000 deaths a year.”
- Tragically, 5,000 of the death attributable to alcohol use are of young people under the age of 21, according to figures provided by SAMHSA.
That’s because so many Americans begin drinking at an early age. SAMHSA’s report on Behavioral Health, United States, 2012, reveals that:
- About 24% of eighth graders and 64% of twelfth graders used alcohol in the past year.
- In 2012, 58.3% of people who tried alcohol for the first time were younger than 18.
The CDC reports that there are numerous consequences of underage drinking and they are serious. Drawing on sources such as The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility from the Committee on Developing a Strategy to Reduce and Prevent Underage Drinking, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; and Binge drinking and associated health risk behaviors among high school students by JW Miller, TS Naimi, RD Brewer, and SE Jones in Pediatrics, the CDC reports that young people who drink alcohol are more likely to experience:
- Increased school absences and poor or failing grades.
- Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
- Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
- Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.
- Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.
- Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.
- Physical and sexual assault.
- Higher risk for suicide and homicide.
- Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.
- Memory problems.
- Abuse of other drugs.
- Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
- Death from alcohol poisoning.
If your child – or any young person you care about – has started down this troubling path, Spring Gardens alcohol and drug detox in Tampa can help. Our unique Florida detox therapies are overseen by Dr. Tanveer Chaudhry, a renowned expert in the field of alcohol addiction detox. At our residential treatment center, we also have a clinical staff made up of master’s level clinicians with years of experience in individual and group therapy.