Teen alcohol use is a significant problem in the United States. A third of teens have taken their first drink before age 15. More than 25% of teenagers drink alcohol regularly, and about half of those drink heavily enough to be considered alcoholics.
Alcohol addiction is a lifetime diagnosis but does not have to mean a lifetime of drinking. The best time for a teenager to stop drinking is now before the long-term effects of heavy drinking have a chance to endanger a healthy future.
Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC) has programs designed for individuals above the age of 18. If you are worried that someone you love is abusing alcohol, reach out to us today to talk with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate staff members. Use our online form or call 844.442.8673.
Teen Alcohol Use
Because their brains are still growing, alcohol does not affect teens the same way it affects adults. Alcohol is tempting to teens because it reduces social awkwardness and helps them shed inhibitions and “fit in.” Teens are prone to binge drinking and alcohol poisoning because their impulse control has not fully matured.
The dangers of drinking alcohol faced by teens include:
- Alcoholism: Teens who begin drinking by age 15 are four times more likely to become addicted than those who wait till 21.
- Physical damage: The dangers of drinking include heart and central nervous system damage, cirrhosis and liver cancer, and stroke. Heavy drinking among teens also can lead to delayed puberty and permanent changes in brain development, memory, and learning.
- Suicide and suicidal ideation are prevalent.
- Fatal accidents: Drowning and automobile accidents among teens are linked with alcohol use.
- Sexual activity: Alcohol contributes to sexual activity among teens at a younger age and increases the risk of having unprotected sex.
- Violence: Teen drinkers are more likely to commit or be victims of violent crime, including sexual assault.
If someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s nearly always best to find an addiction treatment center, such as the one we offer at PAATC.
3 Benefits of Detox for Teens Before Rehab
Once you have identified the problem in your teenager, a professional rehab facility offers the best options for a healthy recovery and sustained sobriety for your loved child.
Rehab cannot begin and won’t be successful if the teen is still drinking. The body must shed all traces of the alcohol and its toxic byproducts. This process starts immediately after the individual’s last drink. Unfortunately, detox can be scary, painful, and dangerous, causing many people to avoid the process. Be reassured that undergoing detox in a safe environment under medical care will allow for the mitigation of all symptoms and risks.
There are three important reasons to enroll your teen in a medically supervised detox.
- Safety: Without medical supervision and management, detox is unnecessarily brutal. A medical team monitors symptoms such as pain and nausea and treats them with medications as needed. If there are underlying medical or mental health conditions, medical professionals can handle problems as they arise.
- Stabilization: The professional staff in a detox facility will stabilize your teen’s mental and physical health during the detox period. It is an opportunity to discuss what is happening during withdrawal and look towards post-detox rehab treatment.
- Success: The next steps in alcohol rehabilitation will be ineffective without a successful detox. People who undergo medical detox have much higher rates of long-term success than those who go it alone.
If you believe your teen could benefit from an alcohol detox program, please reach out to Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today.
Seek Treatment at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
Remember that detox is not rehab. Detox is a physical process, but it does not teach your teen the necessary skills and habits to live a sober life. In rehab at PAATC, our residents learn how to shift self-destructive behaviors and reclaim their life. This allows them to move successfully from dependence to independence.
Our compassionate care is faith-based, backed by evidence and experience. Our top-notch team of trained and caring professionals provides this care for each of our residents. While we do not treat teens under the age of 18, we are proud to provide support for anyone over this age. Reach out to discuss detox options for your teen. Please fill out our online form or pick up the phone and dial 844.442.8673.