Alcohol dependence occurs when teenage drinking becomes the major driving force in your teen’s life. Teenage binge drinking is very common. Your teen’s academics, social life, and family life unravel as their brain is ruled by addiction. Those are hallmarks of teenage alcoholism.
Alcohol consumption affects many body organs. Here is a quick review of the physical effects of alcohol with long term use:
1. The liver can become inflamed.This can lead to a yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Eventually, cirrhosis of the liver can occur when the tissue of the liver becomes scarred. Loss of appetite and fatigue occur with cirrhosis.
2. Malnutrition is common with alcohol dependence. Weight loss, fatigue, and a compromised immune system are symptoms of malnutrition.
3. Pancreatitis- chronic alcohol use causes the pancreas to become inflamed. The pancreas is necessary for food absorption. Abdominal pain can be severe and weight loss can occur.
4. High blood pressure.
5. Insomnia. Alcohol use disrupts sleep. It can continue long after alcohol is stopped if there is a long history of alcohol abuse.
6. Memory and attention problems. Teenage binge drinking affects the developing brain.
7. Higher risk of breast cancer in women and esophageal cancer as well as a variety of cancers in both genders.
8. Stomach/esophogeal problems.
Alcoholism is responsible for more deaths than any other drug. If teenage drinking has beome a focus for your teen, you can “nip it in the bud” (stop the behavior) with the right treatment including fairly easy changes in family dynamics.
It is never too late to get your teen help.
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