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What are the causes and consequences of underage drinking?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | Firm News

While many Florida teens are straight and narrow, others turn to alcohol. There are various reasons for this, but regardless of what they are, there are certain consequences that come with teen drinking.

Risk factors for teen drinking

Some teens fall in with the wrong crowd and start drinking due to peer pressure. They often feel compelled to fit in and follow along with their friends. Sadly, this could lead to more poor choices such as drinking and driving.

According to research, genetics play a part in teen drinking. Those with a parent or other close family member who has substance use disorder are much likelier to abuse alcohol themselves.

Alcoholism and mental health disorders have a direct link. Teens who suffer from ADHD or anxiety, in particular, may start drinking as a way to cope with their symptoms. Unfortunately, alcohol only heightens them rather than blunting them.

Teens who have suffered trauma also have a higher risk of abusing alcohol. Situations such as physical, verbal or sexual abuse, bullying and witnessing physical violence against a parent or other family member can lead to alcohol abuse as a way to try to forget.

Consequences of teen drinking

Teens who drink may begin exhibiting other riskier behaviors such as turning to drugs and being more sexually active. In the latter situation, they might fail to use protection, which increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

Underage drinking can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). Teens who face charges can face penalties such as jail time, license suspension and fines.

Kids who drink are also at risk of adverse health issues such as liver problems, stunted growth and weaker bones. They may also have trouble at school and turn to criminal activity.

Teens who have parents who teach them about the dangers of alcohol use early on have a better chance of avoiding drinking.