Allowing Alcohol Early Encourages Use Increases Risk For Addiction

Occasionally you hear about the “cool” parents who let their underage teen drink at home with them because they believe it will encourage responsible drinking habits. Is this theory really true? Many believe it is. In fact, a study that was conducted by RTI Carolina at Chapel Hill found that 40 percent of moms believe that forbidding the tasting of alcohol will only increase a child’s curiosity of it.

The study also revealed that a fifth-grader, for example, who was able to drink at home under parental supervision, was twice as likely to drink in seventh grade. In addition, those who drink before the age of 15 are six times more likely to develop drinking problems than those who begin drinking at 21 years old. Actually, the younger an individual is when they have their first drink, the more likely they are to drink heavily as adults, as was shown by a study conducted by Yale University. This particular study concentrated on 1,160 students who had moved form high school to college over a four-year period.

The students answered questions about when they first started drinking, how often they drank heavily and any alcohol-related problems they had. The study concluded that the earlier a teenage tried alcohol, the more likely they would struggle to control how much they drank while in college. It was also found that quickly progressing from first alcohol use to drinking to intoxication was also an important predictor of heavy drinking and the experience of alcohol related problems during senior year of college.

Research also shows that people who had their first drink at age 15 are at a greater risk of alcohol problems than people who waited until they were 17, so you can see how these “cool” parents may actually be setting their kids up for alcohol abuse later in life.

Education Is Key

Allowing children to drink gives them the impression that it is okay to drink underage and may prompt kids to experiment with other substances as well. Instead of going about this way of “alcohol control”, try talking with your kids about alcohol. Tell them about the dangers of abusing alcohol and the repercussions that can result.  Frequent drinking can put people in danger as they may behave irrationally and do things he/she may not normally do while not intoxicated. Weight gain is also very common in someone who is drinking a lot because of all the sugar that it contains.

That fact alone may be just enough to turn off teens from using alcohol. But probably the best means of prevention is to be a good role model for your child. If you don’t want your kids to drink, don’t drink around them. They are more likely to become interested in it if they see you drinking it. After all, parents are the ultimate role models, so try to set a good example.

If There Is A Problem

Some parents who allowed alcohol use are dealing with the problem of a child having a addiction. There are even those who did not allow drinking who are having the same problem. When an addiction pops up it is always an unwanted condition and the parent will often feel helpless as to what to do.

The solution is simple and involved communicating with the drug user and helping to find them effective help as quickly as possible. Enrolling in long term treatment is always best.

Contact for more information about this topic or to get immediate help for someone you love.


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