Adolescents that seem to be the most at risk of becoming an alcohol abuser are those with a family history of substance abuse, those that suffer from depression, those that have low self esteem, and those who feel like they don’t fit in. However, this list is not exclusive because addiction can strike anyone at any time. The biggest factor is to be educated on what addiction looks like and how to know if you’re adolescent might have a substance abuse problem, learn how to address it, and how to go about finding a way to treat it. Most adolescents will experiment a bit, mainly because they are curious, because their peers are doing it, because they feel stressed out, or because they want to have fun. Some will experiment and then just stop but for others it will lead into a life threatening disease.
It makes a very big difference when an adolescent begins engaging in drug or alcohol use at a very young age such as tweens or teens. There is a much greater risk involved in addiction when these kids start doing this so young. Many will become addicts while they are still teens. This is why educating parents and designing profound interventions is so necessary. This will help the parent with early detection and the knowledge to intervene while the problem is still young.
Adolescents that abuse and depend on alcohol are serious problems that are not just for adults anymore. There are a very large number of adolescents that have an alcohol problem long before they are even legally able to drink. Both males and females have tried their first drink of alcohol before the age of 13 years old, on average. By 14 years of age, most have consumed at least one entire alcoholic drink. By 15 years of age most that drink will do so regularly.
These are the adolescents that are at a much higher risk at developing alcohol dependence. There are literally several million teens that are alcoholics and that have serious drinking problems scattered about the United States. Each year there will be thousands of deaths that are a direct result of this. Alcohol is the leading factor in fatal car accidents, suicides, and homicides. Drinking alcohol at this age is linked to behaviors that are unconventional, impulsive, and reckless.
Such factors as depression, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, anxiety, and Antisocial Personality Disorder are usually associated with adolescent alcohol abuse and addiction. Suicide is also correlated with adolescent drinking but with all of the mentioned disorders it is not certain if one causes the other or is a result of. Alcohol is the single most abused drug in the entire world. Out of all of the products that are marketed and advertised, more marketing dollars are spent on promoting alcohol than any other. Considering both of those statements, it is obvious then why alcohol is so very often overlooked. The younger that an adolescent begins drinking the better his chances are of becoming an alcoholic BUT for every year that passes where they do not drink alcohol their risk for alcoholism decreases significantly.