Teenagers today are surrounded by the pressure to use alcohol.  They are becoming involved in social drinking and binge drinking at younger ages, and more teens are facing problems related to alcohol abuse and addiction.  In response to the growing problem of teen drinking, many alcoholism rehab facilities have begun to focus on the problems of teenage alcoholism.

Despite the known risks of alcohol use by teenagers, the media continues to make drinking attractive to young people.  Many teenagers have easy access to alcohol and may even be allowed to drink in the presence of parents who believe that drinking is a rite of passage and a safe alternative to drug abuse.  As a result, 27% of high school seniors report having engaged in binge drinking in the past year. 

The Facts about Teen Alcohol Abuse

Underage drinking contributes to failure in school, health problems and early death.  Approximately 5,000 underage drinkers die each year as the result of alcohol-related vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides and other types of accidents such as falls, burns and drowning.

The adolescent brain is still developing and new neural networks are being formed.  Consuming alcohol during adolescence interferes with important brain development and may cause short-term or long-term impairment.  Brain imaging studies have found that the brains of 17-year-olds who have been diagnosed with alcohol dependence are structurally different from those of non-drinking teens, and that the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory is smaller.

Data gathered for the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey has shown that people who begin drinking in their early teens have a greater chance of developing alcohol dependence.  Teenagers who begin drinking before the age of 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol addiction and require alcoholism rehab compared to those who begin drinking at age 21. 

The Benefits of Teen Alcoholism Rehab

Detection and treatment of adolescent drinking problems is critically important.  A family intervention may be required to convince a teenager that he or she needs help.  Once the teen has admitted that a problem exists, teen alcoholism rehab can addresses the teen’s drinking problems as well as the underlying psychological issues that contributed to the problem.  An alcoholism rehab program that includes supervised detox, counseling, group therapy and aftercare will help the teen deal with the physical and psychological components of alcohol addiction.  A good alcoholism rehab program will also provide the teen with the necessary tools to avoid alcohol dependency in adulthood.