The Effects of Alcohol Abuse on Adolescents - Paper Example

Published: 2022-12-26
The Effects of Alcohol Abuse on Adolescents - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Personality disorder Substance abuse Community health Behavior change
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1859 words
16 min read

An adolescent is a term which refers to a young person who is in the process of developing into an adult from a child. Most adolescents abuse drugs and majorly alcohol .the abuse of alcohol is a significant problem; among the teens, some research shows that over 80% of students in high school abuse alcohol. The abuse of alcohol by the teens can result in severe consequences in their current and later life .the consequences include health-related problems, related social problems, permanent damages and alcoholism problems that extend to adulthood. This paper will address the effects of alcohol abuse in adolescents.

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Signs which shows that teens are abusing alcohol include having mood swings, stealing money or other valuable goods, poor hygiene, frequently falling sick, having varied sleeping patterns, changing friends regularly, hiding in their rooms, making excuses and telling lies. However, at the beginning of abusing alcohol, most teens do not show these signs since they tend to hide their actions from their parents or guardians, but after some time these signs come out very clearly.

Majority of the adolescents who abuse alcohol respond to it differently from adults. Their level of sensitivity to alcohol effects is high. They are mostly affected cognitively as compared to adults who are seductively affected, and because of this, they tend to abuse alcohol until such a time that they black out. Alcohol use in the initial stage is mostly the dominant predictors of alcohol use in life later. Majority of the adolescents who abuse alcohol while school find it hard to stop the habit than in life

There are very serious and severe problems related to the intake of liquor to the body of a teenager. Alcohol abuse affects different parts of the body of the teen. These effects include emotional problems, problems related to behaviours, addiction, and dependence, risky sex, learning difficulties, damage to the brain, car accidents getway drugs and many more. These effects affect both the academic and social life of an adolescent as illustrated below.

Behavioral problems

Teens who abuse alcohol often have a problem with their behaviour. According to research on Mental Health Services Administration and Substance abuse, 39% of teens who drink alcohol show serious behaviour problems and a smaller percentage of 31% show an extreme level of emotional suffering. The behaviour that they exhibit is mostly crime, antisocial and violent. These teenagers they are at risk of depression, thoughts of suicide ,social problems and violence.the drunk teen may engage in fighting between themselves ,stealing properties from people in terms of money or valuable goods in order to buy alcohol, participate in driving while under the influence of alcohol, they may even skip classes or drop out of school and also feel depressed.

Parents of teens who abuse alcohol need to know the behavioural changes which are brought by liquor,when they note the shift in behaviour due to drink they can intervene and help their adolescents before the responses lead to severe disturbances in terms of their emotions which include use of illicit drugs, academic failure in schools, misunderstanding in the family, suicide and violence.they might try to kill themselves or even kill their friend and at times run away from home and never to return back.

Emotional related problems

Majority of the teens who are abuse alcohol have experienced psychological problems. These mental problems are of fabulous effects to the teen. Abusing of alcohol causes or mask problems of emotions which include sadness, anger, frustration, hopelessness, discouragement, guilt, anxiety and shame .the abuse also increases the harshness of these mentioned problems. Alcohol abusers hide the truth from their friends to prevent them from being embarrassed. When teenagers abuse alcohol they become abusive to others and mistreat others and later when they are sober they feel the guilt of their actions. Abuse of alcohol causes fears like the one of being discovered as an alcoholic and the fear of the consequences when they are known as addicted and death.

Alcoholic abusers feel sad when they try to leave the habit they cannot because they have developed a chemical dependency. Teenagers who abuse alcohol are often hungry with themselves, but they mostly project their anger to their friends and those who love them like their parents. They are frustrated when they cannot control their fates and their lives. Teenagers are discouraged and become hopeless when they cannot control their drinking.

Addiction and dependence

Studies show that teenagers are most likely to develop alcohol-related problems when they start drinking as compared to adults. Dependence on alcohol, abuse means that the users depend on it to feel good or to perform activities .on dependency the body asks for more and more for it to get the same result. However, when one decides to stop abusing alcohol the body usually develop exact mental and physical signs which are called pulling out ( Bonomo, Bowes, Coffey, Carlin, & Patton, 2004). Addiction means to continue usage in spite of the harmful consequences brought about by taking alcohol. when the teenagers are addicted they find it challenging to stop drinking, And this affects their lives greatly

Brain damage

Heavy intake of liquor among teenagers can destroy the brain or the nervous system permanently or temporarily. According to research conducted by American Medical Associations, it shows that adolescents who are alcoholics develop brain damage. Alcohol damages the hippocampus part of the brain.This is the part accountable for education and retention. Alcohol mostly destroys the cells found in the hippocampus. When the cells are destroyed the teenagers may experience memories which are fancy or even blackouts. Because the brain of the teenage is developing it can be damaged partially.

The hippocampus part of the brain of teenagers who take alcohol is small as compared to that of their peers who do not take the juice. The functioning of hippocampus affects how teenagers learn and stores short term memories, and this affects how one performs at school or in the acquisition of new skills while at home or elsewhere .damage of the hippocampus can cause-effect of one's potential brain to remember and learn new things in the rest of their lives. Other parts of the brain is that of the pre-frontal cortex which is responsible for the control of language and maturity, personality planning and communication.

Risky sex

Teenagers who drink alcohol are most likely involved in unprotected sex or even have sex with strangers and also involve themselves in various sex-related activities. Unprotected sex may result in sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancies and even assault which are sexual ( Alemu, Mariam, Belay & Davey, 2007). With these aspects of being exposed to these problems the teenage can no longer concentrate on his or her studies and might result in destroyed dignity and self-esteem.

Car accidents

Alcohol-related accidents are the primary cause of teenage deaths. Recent research showed that drivers between the age of 15 and 20 who die are mostly drunkards. Adolescents in many cases usually attend parties with their friends where they end up drinking alcohol heavily, on their way home they drive themselves and as a result of blurred vision these teenagers end up causing accidents which end up causing deaths either of the teens or other motorists who were using the road also these teenagers who drive under the influence of alcohol usually destroy properties such as buildings and those cars when accidents occur.

Learning problems

School going teenagers who drink alcohol perform work in schools, and many cases fall behind and end up dropping out of school. Research academic research shows that teenagers who drink have issues on language, retention test and optical spatial and perform worse in them as compared their peers who do not drink (White, 2003). Teenagers who are addicts have a low concentration span hence have lesser time with their books thus results in poor academic performance.

Effects on other parts of the body

There are other parts of organization of a teenager that can be affected due to heavy alcohol intake, these body parts include the pancreases, liver, and heart .teenagers who drink heavily are at the risk of getting life-threatening liver problems, usually the liver breaks down alcohol and remove it from the blood but too much alcohol within a concise period of time can overpower the process of metabolism in the liver hence making it fatty. Fatty liver is a kind of chronic condition which forms up a lot of fats in the liver thus resulting in obesity. This chronic condition can lead to diabetes, liver failure, hyper titis, fibroids, and cirrhosis.the conditions are however treatable but require diagnosis which proper and treatment plan which is intensive.

The heart is another organ which is vulnerable to the effects of alcohol consumption among teenagers. When a teen consumes alcohol slowly their heart is weakened impacting on how nutrients and oxygen are transported to other body organs (Bagnardi, Zatonski, Scotti, La Vecchia, & Corrao, 2008). Heavy alcohol consumption can cause the escalation of triglycerides ranks, which is a type of fat found in the blood. Triglyceride leads to the threat of diabetes and heart disease. The consequences of heavy drinking among teens are cardiac death, stroke, and cardiomyopathy.

In conclusion, as discussed above the teenagers are significantly affected by high intake of alcohol both academic and in their social lives. The short term effects of alcohol in teenagers includes slow rates of breathing, deficiency of coordination, shifts in moods, lapses in memory ,speech which is slurred ,impairment in vision which affects the teenager's life and may result to cases of suicidal cases and school dropouts and I other situations withdrawal from the other people.

Teenagers should be given guidance and counselling in a friendly manner both at school and at home on the effects of alcohol, consequences these drugs have both on their academics and also their lives in general in order for them to avoid taking drink and thus we will have a society with teenagers who are of ethical behaviours and can fit in the community and reduce the number of teenage alcoholics.


Alemu, H., Mariam, D. H., Belay, K. A., & Davey, G. (2007). Factors are predisposing out-of-school youths to HIV/AIDS-related risky sexual behaviour in northwest Ethiopia. Journal of health, population, and nutrition, 25(3), 344.retrived from

Bagnardi, V., Zatonski, W., Scotti, L., La Vecchia, C., & Corrao, G. (2008). Does drinking pattern modify the effect of alcohol on the risk of coronary heart disease? Evidence from a meta-analysis. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 62(7), 615-619.Retrieved from

Bonomo, Y. A., Bowes, G., Coffey, C., Carlin, J. B., & Patton, G. C. (2004). Teenage drinking and the onset of alcohol dependence: a cohort study over seven years. Addiction, 99(12), 1520-1528.Retrieved from

Bot, S. M., Engels, R. C., & Knibbe, R. A. (2005). The effects of alcohol expectancies on drinking behaviour in peer groups: observations in a naturalistic setting. Addiction, 100(9), 1270-1279.Retrieved from

White, A. M. (2003). What happened? Alcohol, memory blackouts, and the brain. Alcohol Research and Health, 27(2), 186-196.

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