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Alcoholism among children and teenagers

Alcoholism among children and teenagers

One of the most important and pressing topics of the modern society is alcohol drinking and smoking among the children. Such a horrific phenomenon as alcoholism among children becomes a very serious and widespread problem of our days. If formerly the young generation got interested in alcoholic drinks approximately to 18 years, there are kids of 10-12 years old and even 3-year-old among alcoholics nowadays.

The adult can’t see teenagers enjoying themselves with beer or wine on the staircase. And what are the feelings of parents, meeting their offspring after a friendly party by his classmates? But the teenager interests in alcohol not by accident. Sooner or later he would like to try this strange liquid. The teens want to grow up. And alcohol (no matter if we like it or not) becomes not only a bright symbol of adult life, but also a catalyst of it.

The reasons of alcoholism among children are various, but all of them indicate the lack of attention paid by adults to the rising generation. Among the motives, important for the drinking teenager, are the following:

  1. Popularization of alcoholic drinks in the movies, on TV and advertisement;
  2. A strong claim on maturity ( alcohol drinking is the sign of independence, maturity and courage);
  3. The appropriate environment, connected with alcohol drinking (parents, peers and outsiders);
  4. The example of peers and the company, drinking alcoholic liquors;
  5. Weak will, dependence, irresponsibility and inexperience among seemingly problem-free children due to intensive parental care. Such children fear to get over the difficulties; they are easy to influence on and manipulate;
  6. The peculiarities of teenager’s personality, connected with cerebral insufficiency because of prenatal problems, birth and craniocerebral traumas, physical or mental retardation;
  7. The availability of uncontrolled money, which can be spent on strong drinks.

The narcologists subdivide alcoholism among children into three the most critical age periods. Let’s examine them.

The first one is “The Early Childhood Period”. This time the alcohol addiction has unconscious character. The bad habit begins to form in the mother’s womb and go on forming at the period of breast feeding. It brings to mental and physical maldevelopment as well as to the further propensity towards alcohol dependence.

The second one is “The Preschool Age Period”. The reasons are irresponsibility of parents, or alcohol addiction in the family. Alcohol drinks become of child’s interest due to the appropriate environment in the face of close relatives, regularly drinking hard liquors. Secondly, the prejudices of the bad parents take place. They consider alcohol to be a good remedy for child’s good sleeping and appetite. Such delusion may cause alcohol intoxication and be ended by fatal outcome.

The third one is “The Adolescence Period”. This time alcohol addiction may be caused by troubles at school or the first unfortunate love. In this case alcohol helps to become oblivious and get away from the problems. Alcoholism among children can be connected with self-affirmation in the company of elder mates, or with the availability of uncontrolled sum of pocket money. This period is the most dangerous, because the attraction to alcoholic liquors may in the most cases turn into the habit, and it leads to serious consequences.

Every third teenager aged 12 drinks alcohol, aged 13 – two thirds of them. The survey has shown, that the most part of pupils from the 6th grade not only tried alcoholic drinks, but also bought them, including wine, beer and champagne. Some kids have been entertained with alcohol by their fathers, grandfathers or relatives. To the 8th grade the number of teenagers, who drinks regularly, increases. 54 percent of pupils take alcohol once a month; 7 percent – twice a month; and 11 percent of them have risks of becoming alcoholics. To the 11th grade teenagers are getting more addicted to alcohol: 45 percent take it once a month; 20,8 percent – once in two weeks; 29 percent – drink alcohol no less than once a week. 39 percent of teenagers from 8-11th grades take alcohol every week. And only 4 percent of pupils have never tried alcoholic liquors.

Alcohol affects teens differently, than the adults. The young brain at the age up to 20 has another reaction on received information, rather than the adult’s brain. The young brain is created to learn. It is on the stage, when the true connections between the neurons are to be formed. Alcohol destroys this function, and it injuries the teenager’s brain stronger and influences the further brain functioning.

Alcoholization of a teen is closely connected with his socialization and alcoholic culture of the micro environment. There are the following types of the culture in question:

  • abstinent culture – the guideline, based on the total abstinence;
  • ambivalent culture – the guideline, ambiguous and contradictory to alcohol;
  • liberal culture – allows drinking, but forbids hard drinking;
  • pathological culture – the guideline, permitting any kinds of alcohol drinking.

No doubt alcohol has a pernicious effect upon the whole growing organism. Here are some derangements, waiting the teenager, who drinks alcoholic liquors:

  • Disfunction of gastrointestinal tract;
  • The liver injury, hepatitis, hepatocirrhosis;
  • Disfunction of the pancreas (pancreatitis, peritonitis);
  • Disfunction of cardiovascular system (tachycardia, problems with the blood pressure etc);
  • Inflammatory processes in kidneys and urinary tracts (urethritis, cystitis, pyelonephritis);
  • Inflammatory diseases of lungs, bronchial tubes, larynx, nasopharinx (chronic bronchitis, multiple bronchiectasis, pneumosclerosis, pulmonary tuberculosis);
  • Immune depression, leading to higher risk of infectious diseases;
  • Alcohol affects the endocrine system of a teenager;
  • Insular diabetes with complex behavior may be developed;
  • Changes in the blood composition, anaemia and so on.

The prevention of alcoholism among children and teenagers must be comprehensive, covering various aspects of their life. The parents must take the most active part in it alongside with the educational organizations.

The family function is to take part in the child’s life, to bring him up, to learn him the right way of working and having a rest, to organize the time of a young person so, that he won’t look for alcohol for consolation, entertainment or emotions.

The educational organizations – schools, sports and hobby groups – must also do the educational work, warning against dangers, waiting for the young alcoholics. The teenagers must be informed about the number of crimes, committed by kids under the influence of alcohol and so on.

It is necessary to explain to the forming personality, that alcohol doesn’t make him or her more attractive for the people and doesn’t help to become adult. We need to explain the child, that drinking is neither cool, nor stylish at all.

One of the peculiarities of alcoholism among children and teenagers is a very quick habit-forming to alcohol-containing drinks. It may need only a few months between the first drinking and the serious alcohol dependence. That’s why it is important to notice the changes happening with the child in time and start the treatment.

The therapy of teenagers has its own character and peculiarities. The earlier diagnosis is very important for successful treatment and it helps to avoid possible complications. Alcoholism among the teens is very difficult to cure, because some medicines can’t be taken due to the early age of the patient. Impatient treatment under the care of a physician is the best decision here. Domestic medicine is ruled out. For the better result of the therapy some herbs, possessing diuretic, general health-improving, immune restoring effects, can be additionally used. Physical exercises, sports and other physical activity are also recommended.

How do teenagers get rid of alcohol smell from their mouths?

  1. They clean the teeth carefully. This is a short-term method, but it’s good for the beginning. Chewing gum is good either.
  2. The teenagers use overbreathing - a series of deep breaths and exhalations, taken for 5 minutes. Overbreathing helps to decrease the concentration of alcohol vapors and makes the breath free from them.
  3. They take a pill of Biotredin, Limontar or Glycine. If the first-aid kit doesn’t contain such medicines, they take 10-20 pills of activated charcoal, which is also able to neutralize the smell of alcohol.
  4. The teens may chew nutmeg or parsley root. Although these species have a bitter taste and not pleasing to chew, both of them are good to get rid of alcohol smell.
  5. 5. They take several bay leaves and chew them for 5 minutes. The alcohol vapors will completely disappear. Then just chew a mint chewing gum, and bad smell vanishes away.
  6. If they can’t find species at home, coffee beans will be ok too. But after chewing them, the teens have to clean teeth again, or they may dig themselves into a hole.
  7. Special drugs, known as alcohol breath control pills are of great help here. They totally delete the smell of alcohol, making the breath fresh. Now breath control pills are purchased everywhere, therefore it’s not a problem to buy some. And then just follow the instructions.
  8. If there are no shops and drug stores around, and they are in the forest, the teenagers can find a conifer tree and chew a couple of its needles. This also helps to get rid of alcohol smell.

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