Search for Addiction Treatment Centers Near You Forums Alcohol Abuse Risks of Alcohol Use for Teens:

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    In addition to the physical effects presented above, alcohol poses several further risks for teenage drinkers:

    * Alcoholism can develop much more rapidly in teens than adults; possibly within a matter of months. Approximately 40% of children who start drinking before age 15 will become alcoholics at some point in their lives.
    * Teenagers are still developing physically. The developing body is much more sensitive to the effects of drugs, and may be negatively affected by alcohol. In 1998, more 18-year-olds died in low blood alcohol related car crashes than individuals of any other age.
    * Teenagers are still developing emotionally. Use of alcohol may prevent teens from learning how to handle emotions and life situations without turning to drugs. Among 12-17 year olds who drink, 31% have exhibited extreme levels of psychological distress, and 39% have exhibited serious behavior problems.
    * Teenagers often drink to get drunk. Many teens do not drink “socially,” but aim to get drunk. Getting drunk increases many dangers associated with alcohol consumption, such as risks of automobile accidents and unsafe sex. Notably, half the girls who have sexual intercourse by age 16 are intoxicated at the time, and half later regret their action. In addition, one survey of high school students found that 18% of females and 39% of males said it is acceptable for a boy to force a girl to have sex if the girl is stoned or drunk.
    * There is no known “safe” level of alcohol for young people. The U.S. dietary guidelines state that children and adolescents should avoid alcohol completely.

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