All treatment providers we recommend are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or Care Inspectorate.
By 17 years old, around 64% of boys and 48% of girls drink alcohol every week in the UK .
The percentage of 15-year-olds claiming to have been drunk multiple times in their life in 2018 stood at 26% in England and 31% in Scotland. In Northern Ireland, there has been a rise in how many 11- to 16-year-olds said they had been drunk, reaching 31% in 2018 .
An NHS study of secondary school pupils found that, when asked if they had drunk alcohol in the last week, 2% of 11-year-olds, 3% of 12-year-olds, and 23% of 15-year-olds said yes .
There are lots of things standing in the way of young people and alcohol consumption, the most important being the law. However, there are several reasons why they can be exposed to and become dependent on alcohol.
Anyone who drinks large quantities of alcohol will be subject to the variety of physical and psychological impacts that this causes.
However, young people who drink a lot can be susceptible to a unique set of consequences, and these include:
One of the most serious consequences of adolescent alcohol misuse is that it sets individuals up for similar problems in adult life. As the access to alcohol increases with growing up, those who struggled as teenagers can start drinking much higher volumes as an adult.
Because the legal age to drink alcohol is 18 in the UK, young people can already be secretive and deceptive about when they drink with their friends.
When dependency develops, it can become even harder to spot unhealthy consumption.
Learning the signs of alcohol abuse in young people can therefore be immensely helpful.
Behavioural changes are some of the most obvious signs of alcohol dependency.
As individuals drink more, they become more isolated from friends and family, and young people no longer hanging around with others might be an indicator.
This detachment from the world can also manifest in the abandonment of hobbies. If a young person no longer attends sports sessions, music lessons, or art classes, after spending years doing so, it could be a sign of alcoholism.
Drinking a lot of alcohol seriously impacts an individual’s ability to concentrate and remember things.
For younger people, this can be most noticeable in their performance at school.
If an individual starts struggling at school or perhaps loses their motivation for education altogether, they might be struggling.
Drinking alcohol causes individuals to behave in ways they otherwise wouldn’t.
One of the most obvious signs that an individual is dependent is if they consistently display signs of being intoxicated.
These include speaking with a slur, having poor coordination and balance, and having memory lapses.
Tackling alcohol dependency in young people can seem almost impossible, but there are options for parents, grandparents, and friends who want to help.
The simplest thing to do, while also being one of the hardest, is to talk to the young person about their alcohol misuse.
This conversation should be gentle and supportive, with the goal to try and understand why they drink so much and how much they are consuming.
If the individual refuses to accept that they have a problem, an intervention is also an option. These are events where family and friends unite to express how alcoholism has become a problem and offer support.
Either via a conversation or intervention, it is important to make clear that you are available to help a young person in beating their addiction.
Talking to them about their needs, their struggles, and how they can be supported is essential.
This can take the form of helping them handle the pressures of school, navigate difficult social interactions with others, or understand new and intense emotions.
When alcoholism impacts your child, sibling, or friend, it can be overwhelming and scary. You can wonder how their body and mind are being affected, and not really know how you can help.
In this situation, talking to your GP can be really helpful. Learning more about alcohol’s impact on the body and brain, especially if that GP is already familiar with the young person’s medical history, can be useful for devising effective ways to help.
Throughout the UK, there is an abundance of support available for tackling alcoholism. In order to find out what facilities might be most suitable for a young person to recover from dependency, it can help to conduct research into local options for alcohol rehab.
If your child consumes alcohol and you are concerned about how much might be too much, the NHS offers a set of guidelines that can be useful :
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