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High School Alcohol Problems

A series of studies have been conducted on the health issues relating to the short-term and long-term use of alcohol among adults. Long-term use can result in liver damage, certain cancers, and brain shrinkage. The second main cause of dementia is alcohol use; alcohol use often causes one to age quicker. But what worries a lot of professionals today is the consistent rise in high school alcohol problems facing society today. According to the British Medical Association (BMA) "there was a general rise in the proportion of 11 to 15 year-olds who drink alcohol regularly, but also there is an increase in the amount they are drinking on each occasion".

A high school student who is alcohol-dependent has a harder time remembering words and simple geometric designs after a 10-minute interval than a non-alcoholic youth. Teens suffering from alcohol problems in high school may also suffer long lasting consequences. Still, it is unclear that if an individual begins drinking at an early age it will actually cause them to become an alcoholic. The child's environment may also be a factor, particularly in alcoholic families. In these homes, children may start drinking at earlier stage because they can access the alcohol that is inside the home. Lack of parental monitoring can also be a factor.

It is common knowledge that underage drinking is illegal, but it is important to note that it also poses an elevated risk to the individual and to society. Automobile crashes are the main cause of death among youths 15 to 20 years old. The statistics for deadly crashes among alcohol-induced drivers age 16 and 20 is more than twice the statistics for alcohol-induced drivers age 21 and older.

High school alcohol problems can also result in depression and stress, and in unfortunate incidences can lead to suicide, which is the third main cause of death among individuals age 14 to 25. One study revealed that 37 percent of 8th grade females who drank heavily confirmed to attempting suicide. Sexual abuse, including rape, happens most frequently in women in late adolescence and early adulthood. A survey reveals that 10 percent of female high school students admitted to being raped. Research indicates that alcohol use by the violator, the victim or both increase the chance of sexual abuse or assault by a male acquaintance.

Studies show that adolescent alcohol use is often associated with high-risk sex practices, such as multiple partners or unprotected sex. High school alcohol problems can also lead to unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. A recent study reveals that the association between high-risk sex and drinking is determined by the amount of alcohol consumed. The chances of sexual intercourse is increased by drinking enough alcohol to distort judgment, but this chance is decreased when heavier quantities are consumed, resulting in nausea, passing out, or mental confusion. Parents should educate themselves and keep a keen eye out for all the warning signals relating to teen alcohol use.

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