Did you know that alcohol is the top mind-altering drug that young people use? Sadly, many people underestimate the power of alcohol.

Anyone over the age of 21 is a legal drinking age in America. However, that does not mean that it is not affecting juveniles. Left unsupervised, many minors engage in consuming alcohol as a pastime. 

Below, we'll talk about the impact of underage drinking. Read on to see how it can affect long-term mental and physical health. 

Risk of Developing Chronic Diseases

Those who consume alcohol during adolescence have a risk of developing chronic diseases. These include cirrhosis, high blood pressure, liver problems, pancreatitis, and more.

Long-term alcohol abuse is also linked to a greater risk of developing certain types of cancer. Common examples are liver and throat cancers.

Similarly, alcohol can damage the heart. Teen drinking can increase the risk of cardiomyopathy, irregular heartbeat, and stroke. Moreover, heavy alcohol consumption can lead to developing type 2 diabetes.

Risk of Injury

When someone is under the influence of alcohol, they are more likely to take risks. This can include driving impaired, having unprotected sex, or engaging in violence. You can read this article for more about how it can lead to violence. 

Also, alcohol impairs physical coordination. This then increases the likelihood of accidents. In some cases, it may lead to alcohol poisoning or other physical harm.

The higher the level of intoxication, the greater the likelihood of severe injury. In worse cases, it may even result in death.

Can Lead to Drug Usage

Heavy drinking is often associated with increased experimentation in illicit drug use. Some young people are more likely to expose themselves to drugs while they are under the influence.

Studies have shown that teens who consume alcohol are more likely to take drugs than those who don't. The majority of underage drinkers who use drugs begin by using alcohol first.

The younger a person starts drinking, the more likely they are to start substance abuse later. Also, alcohol makes it easier to try drugs. This is because it decreases inhibitions and affects judgment.

Anxiety and Depression

Teenagers who drink alcohol are at an increased risk for anxiety and depression. Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows down the nervous system. This can lead to feelings of sadness, irritability, and loneliness.

Depression is often described as a feeling of sadness and emptiness. It can interfere with a person's ability to enjoy life and can lead to low energy, poor sleep, and weight gain.

Anxiety is a general term for nervousness and worry. It can range from mild symptoms like restlessness or trouble concentrating. It can also lead to more serious problems like panic attacks or phobias.

If you think your teenager may be struggling with anxiety or depression, talk to them about it. Supportive counseling or therapy can help them get relief from their symptoms and improve their well-being.

The Impact of Underage Drinking

Drinking among minors is a major issue that needs to get addressed. Every state should continue to emphasize the importance of creating strict laws to prevent minors from drinking.

We must take action on this now to reduce its negative impact on our society. Spread awareness today and take a stand against underage drinking. The children deserve a better future. 

Feel free to browse our other blog posts for additional health and wellness information.