Alcoholism is one of the leading causes of premature death in the United States, which is surprising considering it’s a perfectly legal substance. Understanding the dangers of alcoholism is essential to identifying if you or a love one has a problem. Although it may be legal, drinking alcohol in excess can produce horrible consequences. Every year, many people die from alcohol poisoning, alcohol-related accidents, and health issues that are directly related to excess long-term drinking. Much to the distress of their parents, young people figure prominently in these statistics.
Alcoholism can present devastating consequences for young people, especially considering the fact that young adults are beginning to drink at a much younger age than in previous years. The dangers can include psychological, physical, and social problems. It’s important for young people to get help for their alcoholism as soon as possible if they’ve become dependent on alcohol.
Some people still think that addiction is a choice; it is, in fact, a brain disease. In recent years, scientific studies have pinpointed where the problem originates—in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for impulse control and logical decision-making. It doesn’t fully develop until people are in their 20s or 30s.
When young people drink, they feel a much stronger effect than an adult would because the prefrontal cortex of the brain isn’t fully developed. One of the most common dangers of alcohol abuse among young people is that they’re far more likely to become addicted. This is because they’re not only feeling an excess flow of dopamine, but the excessive drinking also stunts the growth of this part of the brain as well.
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for a person’s decision making and judgment, which is why young people are much more likely to take risks while under the influence of alcohol.
The dangers of alcoholism are apparent in statistics regarding college students. Each year, college students die due to alcohol-related accidents, and many of them don’t involve driving. There are incidents where students have drowned or fallen off of buildings while intoxicated.
Long-term dangers of alcoholism also include problems with vital organs. Due to excess drinking, individuals can develop problems with their kidneys, liver and pancreas. There are also a variety of issues with the heart that can develop. Long-term alcoholism can lead to heart disease and congestive heart failure. The other potential drawback of long-term alcoholism among young people is infertility.
If you or your child is struggling with alcoholism, don’t wait to get the treatment they need. The risk is too great to allow such hazardous behavior to continue. Addressing the issue now could mitigate the long-term effects of alcohol abuse for your child. Call Lakeview Health today at 866.704.7692 for more information about how you can help your child reclaim their life from alcohol abuse.
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