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Thursday, August 6, 2020

How Does Alcohol Affect Young Adults?

Many high school and college students view drinking as a rite of passage, and pop culture has perpetuated that idea by depicting young adults going to rowdy parties where the alcohol flows freely. The teen years are also a time when many young people are experiencing their first taste of adulthood, with milestones like earning a driver’s license and moving out of their parents’ house.

Underage drinking may be one way for young adults to test their boundaries and assert their independence. Often, people in this age range are more susceptible to peer pressure and the desire to fit in with their friends, which could lead them to experiment with alcohol. What should parents and young adults know about the risks of drinking?

The Dangers of Drinking for Young Adults

Young adults may feel invincible, believing there will be no negative consequences of binge drinking. However, alcohol abuse can quickly spiral into a pattern of self-destruction that is challenging to escape without help.

A teen or college-aged person who develops an alcohol misuse disorder can lose an otherwise promising future with difficulties such as the following.
  • Problems in school: Students who drink might wake up feeling too hung over to pay attention in school, or could start skipping class altogether. Alcohol abuse can also interfere with a student’s academic performance. If their grades fall too far, they might risk expulsion from school.
  • Impaired cognition: Because people’s brains continue to develop until their mid-20s, young adults who drink or use drugs might eventually have trouble concentrating, retaining new memories or making smart decisions.
  • Reckless behavior: A drunk person might behave entirely differently than they do when they are sober, since alcohol lowers inhibitions. A young adult under the influence of alcohol could decide to do something irresponsible like starting a fight or having unprotected sex. Illegal activities such as drunk driving or vandalism could lead to an arrest.
  • Health issues: The physical, mental and emotional effects of alcohol misuse don’t happen immediately, but over the long term, heavy drinking can raise the risk of developing organ and tissue damage, high blood pressure, depression, obesity and even some forms of cancer. Someone who drinks as a young adult might not meet all the standards for a diagnosis of alcohol use disorder at the time. They can still go on to struggle with alcoholism later in life, though.

Addressing Alcohol Abuse in Young Adults

Age-specific alcohol rehab is often ideal because younger people have different treatment needs and cultural expectations. Look for a young adult treatment center that offers therapy in addition to essential life skills such as job readiness. At Hope Academy, our goal is to prepare young people to be confident, independent adults upon their discharge from treatment. We have tailored our program to the unique needs of teens and college-aged students. To learn more about how Hope Academy can help rebuild the foundation of your life, contact us today.
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