Underage drinking has grown rapidly both on a national and international level. According to a Harvard Health Publication, boys will have their first drink earlier on than girls. Young adults aged 18 to 25 have the highest percentage of alcohol abuse problems. While most young adults would like to contemplate the idea of a perfect world, excessive drinking can often lead to alcohol addiction.
There are a few factors that might cause drinking or alcohol abuse in young adults. Some researchers think that this age group is more susceptible to alcohol addiction because the part of the brain that is accountable for impulse control and executive decision making matures later in life. In other words, young adults may have a difficult time saying no to alcohol because their brains have not developed a strong decision-making capacity yet. However, their capacity for pleasure has already reached adult proportions. Environment and culture can also influence a young adult’s drinking behavior. For instance, American Indians and Native Alaskans are more likely to develop alcohol dependence.
A young person that has developed a drinking abuse problem is at risk for adverse effects later on in life. The brain is still developing, therefore, permanent impairment in brain functions, such as memory, coordination and motor skills, are possible. Excessive drinking, also known as binge drinking, is established as 5 drinks for males and 4 for females. Episodes of binge drinking may cause an alcohol user to experience a black out where their brain will no longer retain memories. Moreover, they may forget everything that happened while intoxicated and act differently. For example, they may miss school, feel sick or get into arguments more often. Binge drinking may also cause alcohol poisoning. Bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and breathing will slow down.
Young adults often feel pressure to fit in and to be successful. Some statistics state that about two-thirds of them are very worried about their finances and their future. Many young people say they drink to escape their problems or to cope with life’s stresses in general.
Parents still play an important role in helping young people struggling with substance abuse. Starting the talk early will help them understand the dangers of alcohol. Perhaps you are one of those parents who think it’s too late because your son or daughter doesn’t believe alcohol is a drug. It’s never too late to seek treatment and recovery. There are plenty of therapy centers and rehabilitation treatment centers where young people ages 18 and up can find help for their psychological and physical needs.