Because alcohol is by far the most commonly used drug among teens, it is logical- although still unfortunate- that binge drinking is popular among young people. But it’s not just college students who overindulge in alcohol; binge drinking is common at high school parties, too.
Just because alcohol is popular, however, does not mean that it’s completely safe, and although the prevalence of alcohol makes it nearly inevitable that teens will continue to experiment with it, helping them to understand the risks could help to dissuade them from dangerous binge drinking. Below you will find the top risks associate with binge drinking:
One of the most well-known risks of binge drinking is alcohol poisoning, and this is also one of the most dangerous possible effects. If a teen consumes too much alcohol in too short a period of time, their ability to breathe could be affected, as well as their gag reflex, which opens up the possibility of them choking on their own vomit should they be left improperly supervised. Therefore, it is extremely important to call 911 or contact a medical professional if you suspect that an individual could have alcohol poisoning. A person could have alcohol poisoning if they:
- Cannot be woken up
- Are vomiting uncontrollably
- Have had a seizure
- Exhibit extreme confusion
- Are breathing slowly or irregularly
- Have pale or bluish skin
- Have a low body temperature
Teens who binge drink throughout high school have been shown to have diminished physical health compared to their peers who abstain from drinking. By the time they turn 24, teens who binge drink are more likely to have high blood pressure and to be overweight. In fact, the immense amount of calories consumed during a binge drinking episode is one of the main reasons behind the college weight gain epidemic known as the “Freshman 15.”
Everyone knows that alcohol can impair your judgment, and the more alcohol a teen consumes, the worse their decision-making skills and motor skills become. Teens- a segment of the population already known for engaging in risky behavior- can become even more reckless while under the influence of alcohol. After binge drinking, teens are more likely to make poor decisions that could even put their lives at risk, such as driving drunk or having unprotected sex.
Mental Health Issues
Binge drinking can cause a number of mental health problems for teens. Drinking can have a negative impact on teens’ sleeping patterns, which can in turn disrupt their ability to stay awake and focused throughout the day. Teens who binge drink often experience a harder time with school than teens who don’t drink, and drinkers’ academic performance often suffers as a result of their habit. Binge drinking teens are also more likely to drop out of school.
What’s more, a teen’s social life could suffer as a result of their binge drinking because while most teens accept alcohol consumption as “normal,” if a teen becomes out of control (which is not uncommon among drunken teenagers), they could become alienated from their friends- even their fellow partiers. Finally, studies have also shown that drinking excessively as a teen could contribute to the development of alcoholism as an adult, something that no teen wants to look forward to as a part of their future.
Although many teens underestimate the dangers of alcohol, those dangers are, in fact, very real. A teen could potentially die from alcohol poisoning through binge drinking, and the health issues- both physical and mental- and the dangers of impaired judgment make binge drinking a very risky endeavor.
If you suspect that your teen could be engaging in binge drinking or other dangerous behaviors, it could be time for you to seek help from an outside source. One great source of help for at-risk teens Christian boarding schools. At these schools, students are rehabilitated through a time-tested and individualized program consisting of both discipline and reward. Students receive the love and guidance they need to transition from a troubled teen into an emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually healthy young adult.