Alcohol Rehab for Teenagers
It’s no secret that teenagers often experiment with alcohol and drugs. Although most who try drinking early won’t develop a chronic abuse or addiction problem, the consequences of underage alcohol abuse are severe. The good news is that getting help early can make the difference between living a happier, healthier lifestyle and one that is damaged by addiction. If you are exploring residential alcohol recovery for a teenager you care about, you’re taking a courageous and important stand.
What to Know About Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is the most dangerous drug in America. More people suffer alcohol-related accidents, health problems, financial problems and relationship problems than with any other substance. Abusing alcohol forces the brain to make certain chemical adaptations. These adaptations negatively affect learning, memory, judgment, reward and other important cognitive skills. Alcohol abuse is also a leading cause of sexually transmitted disease, violent crime and other serious lifestyle problems. Note that you do not have to be an alcoholic to suffer the severe consequences associated with alcohol abuse.
Alcoholism is defined by compulsive drinking. An alcoholic cannot control how much or how often he drinks. Drinking in the morning, at school, at family events and at other socially inappropriate times is commonplace. An alcoholic also lies about or hides alcohol use. You might find hidden bottles while noticing worsening signs of health. An alcoholic also suffers from withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. If you notice physical withdrawal symptoms such as shakiness, hallucinations, anxiety or seizures, get medical help immediately. Sudden alcohol withdrawal can be fatal.
A person who abuses alcohol does not demonstrate compulsive behavior but nevertheless may require professional help. Binge drinking, which is drinking more than 4-to-5 drinks over two hours, characterizes alcohol abuse. Feeling embarrassed about things that happened when drinking, or suffering from a memory blackout, are more signs. Even though alcohol abuse isn’t the same as alcoholism, people who abuse alcohol are more likely to develop alcoholism.
Why You Need Rehab
Although it is essential for people of all ages to secure professional care if they need help quitting drinking, it is especially important for teenagers. The teenage brain continues developing well into the early 20s; unfortunately, the capacity for pleasure matures far before the ability to make rational decisions. Because alcohol affects learning and memory, heavy drinking early in life can set a course for poor decision making for years to come. Addressing a serious situation promptly is essential.
A little known fact of alcoholism recovery is that waiting until rock bottom to get help makes a bad situation worse. Consider that allowing the abuse to continue will worsen other problems your teen might be having, such as failing grades, damaged relationships and worries about the future. Because alcohol provides false comfort, your teen may continue drinking to forget about life. In rehab, your teen will uncover the reasons he drinks and take steps toward living a smart and sober lifestyle.