Contrary to common belief, the large majority of teenagers won’t in reality develop any serious alcohol issues or engage in unhealthy and dangerous lifestyles. Nonetheless, there will always be some adolescents and teenagers that fall into harmful habits during this especially vulnerable period in their lives.
On the positive side, it is quite rare for any case of teenage alcohol misuse to continue to such a level that local alcohol rehabs need to be sought. Nonetheless, in order to avoid such situations entirely it only makes sense to make efforts toward preventing alcohol misuse in the first place. The key being, realising what precisely triggers alcohol misuse.
Naturally, triggers will vary exponentially from one individual to the next as no two people will ever be identical. Nonetheless, there are some general reasons why teens turn to alcohol of which a few are more common than others.
For instance, peer pressure has the very real potential to be quite influential and problematic in any period of life, though is especially pronounced during teenage years. The reason is that this is precisely the time in life when young adults are exploring their personalities, creating valuable social connections and trying to fit in. This can easily lead to a lot of poor decision-making – particularly when alcohol and drugs are brought into the equation.
Becoming an Adult
There also comes a point in time during the teenage years when adolescents no longer accept being treated like children and want to both act like and be treated like adults. As things like recreational drugs, tobacco and alcohol are more closely linked to adult lifestyle, many teens start using such substances as a means by which to feel and look more grown up. All of which is exactly why it’s of crucial importance for teachers, parents, caregivers and adults in general to offer the best possible example.
Adolescence is a truly bewildering stage in one’s life. This has the potential to lead to the kind of curiosity which, while productive and healthy in some cases, can also lead adolescents down entirely the wrong path. They can find themselves in a situation where they have no idea what it is they’re getting themselves into, deciding to try something out for the first time and discovering that “just this one time” is rarely the way things turn out.
Another common trigger of alcohol abuse during adolescence can be boredom. Even when groups of teenagers get together, they may find it difficult to find anything worthwhile to do with their time. This is precisely why alcohol and drugs often enter the mix, as a means to temporarily banish boredom without realising the harm or the dangers.
Teenagers are just as susceptible to anxiety, stress, depression and a large variety of other emotional and psychological problems as adults. Just as it may be the case with adults suffering from such conditions, self-medicating by way of drinking alcohol or using drugs often represents what seems to be an easy and simple way out. It could also be that the teen concerned simply doesn’t have the social skills or confidence they feel they need, which in turn may lead to turning to alcohol and building a dependence.
An obvious point to say the least, there will always be teenagers who turn to alcohol and drugs for the simple reason that they are aware they shouldn’t be doing so. Instances of rebellion are in many cases short-lived and usually occur mostly when parents are overprotective, overly strict or passive-aggressive. When an adolescent feels they’re living under unfair conditions and terms beyond their control, they may sometimes feel that they could take back control by rebelling.
It is also fair to say that a huge proportion of teenagers honestly have no idea just how harmful alcohol and recreational drugs in general can be. They often see them painted in different manners in popular culture and owing to a general lack of relevant knowledge believe there is truly no harm in trying them out. This tends to be the beginning of a very slippery slope.
Finally, many teens despite being aware of the possible risks and dangers associated with alcohol and drug use will nonetheless continue using them for pure fun and enjoyment purposes, which is basically the exact same case with adults. Most people know the risks linked to alcohol and drugs and make their decisions according to this knowledge. The only real difference being that for many teens, realising where to draw the line and saying no could be a much bigger challenge.