Clear communication by parents about the negative effects of alcohol, as well as about their expectations regarding drug use, have been found to significantly decrease alcohol use in teens. Adequate parental supervision has also been found to be a deterrent to alcohol use in youth. Alcohol, and other drug use, has been found to occur most often between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., immediately after school and prior to parents' arrival at home from work. Teen participation in extracurricular activities has therefore been revealed to be an important measure in preventing use of alcohol in this age group. Parents can also help educate teens about appropriate coping and stress-management strategies. For example, 15- to 16-year-olds who use religion to cope with stress tend to use drugs significantly less often and have less problems as a result of drinking than their peers who do not use religion to cope.
What are the symptoms and signs of alcohol intoxication?
Signs that indicate a person is intoxicated include the smell of alcohol on their breath or skin, glazed or bloodshot eyes, the person being unusually passive or argumentative, and/or deterioration in the person's appearance or hygiene. Other symptoms of intoxication include flushed skin and memory loss.
What is alcoholism?
As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, alcoholism (alcohol dependence) is a negative pattern of alcohol use leading to a number of problems, which may include needing more alcohol to get intoxicated (tolerance), difficulties that occur when the effects of alcohol wear off (withdrawal), using more alcohol or for longer time than intended, and other life problems because of the use of alcohol.
Five stages of alcohol and drug use have been identified. The first stage is described as access to alcohol rather than use of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, or other drugs. In that stage, minimizing the risk factors that make a teenager more vulnerable to using alcohol are an issue. The second stage of alcohol and other drug use ranges from experimentation or occasional use to regular weekly use of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, or other drugs. The third stage is characterized by youths further increasing the frequency of alcohol use and/or using alcohol and other drugs on a regular basis. This stage may also include the teenager either buying drugs or stealing to get drugs. In the fourth stage of alcohol and drug use, adolescents have established regular usage, have become preoccupied with getting intoxicated ("high") and have developed problems in their social, educational, vocational, or family life as a result of using the substance. The final and most serious fifth stage of alcohol or other drug use is defined by the youth only feeling normal when they are using. During this stage, risk-taking behaviors like stealing, engaging in physical fights, or driving while intoxicated increase, and they become most vulnerable to having suicidal thoughts.