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Teen Binge Drinking and Alcoholism: Learn the Signs and Get Help

I’m too young to be addicted, right? Addiction is only something that happens to older people, isn’t it? My body is young, so can’t I handle my alcohol better than older people?

If you’ve been wondering whether you’re too young to experience addiction to alcohol, you’re not alone. At Archstone Behavioral Health in Lantana, Florida (FL), we get questions like this all the time. The answer is there is no minimum age for alcohol addiction. There is a recent trend for younger and younger people to start experimenting with alcohol, often in combination with drugs.

Teen drinking is often written off as a fun and lighthearted part of growing up, but unfortunately, the truth is much more sinister. Teen binge drinking can lead easily and quickly to teen alcoholism. Teenagers begin drinking for many reasons: peer pressure, a desire to try something new and exciting, even self-medication for depression or other mental health issues. 

 Teens are inexperienced at knowing their limits and often have little tolerance, so they look to the guidance of their peers—who are, more often than not, the ones holding the beer bong. By turning drinking into a competitive game, teens take in much more alcohol and expose themselves to serious risk of alcohol poisoning.  And binge drinking is commonplace: the CDC estimates “about 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in binge drinks.”

But it isn’t just the short-term risks, including health problems, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and accidents, that makes teen binge drinking a problem.  It’s also that teens who binge on alcohol are at greater risk to become addicted to it. And while alcoholism is a terrible and deadly disease in adults, it’s even more harmful to young people whose brains and bodily systems are still growing and developing.  Alcohol abuse can delay brain development in teens and lead to long-term medical complications. Furthermore, the younger you are when you develop a drinking problem, the shorter your life expectancy. Teen alcoholics are also at risk for developing other drug addictions.

If you’re a teen and you’re worried that you might have a drinking problem, or if you’re a parent and you suspect your child is an alcoholic, it’s important to seek help right away. If you suspect your teen has a drinking problem, confront him or her with the evidence. The important thing is not to blame your child, but to get help. Teens are vulnerable to peer pressure, and it can be exceptionally difficult for them to rehabilitate and get sober when their drinking buddies still surround them. The best way to help your child get clean is to bring him or her to a safe, specialized rehabilitation facility far away from the pressures of the home.

 Archstone Behavioral Health is a well-regarded, state-of-the-art drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. Teens and adults from New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), Baltimore (MD), Washington DC, New England, and Florida (FL) all come to Archstone Behavioral Health in beautiful, sunny Lantana, Florida. 

 Our multiple treatment options (including detox, outpatient, residential, transitional, and extended care programs), skilled counselors and medical staff, and proven twelve-step approach help teen alcoholics rebuild their lives while they still have time to start again.   Find help for teen alcohol rehab with Archstone Behavioral Health at (561) 475-4237 today.