Summer or Fall? When Do College Kids Drink More?

alcohol rehab in Wilmington NCWhile summer vacation can be a relaxing, fun time for teens away from the demands of school and homework, based on data from our center for alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC, it can also be a very dangerous time in regards to consuming alcohol. This is especially true for students about to leave for their first year of college.

It makes sense that these teens would be granted more freedom, since they will soon be living on their own for the first time but it is highly suggested to parents that these teens be monitored during this life changing time period as well as the years following. During these summer months there are many holidays such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July when many people across America consume a large amount of alcohol in celebration, teenagers included.

Rules are often less strict during these months. College students, who may be of age, are back home for vacation, and parents may be at work all day while teens are at home which makes obtaining alcohol easier. A study done by the Caron Treatment Center revealed a shocking 41 percent of parents believe their teens should learn to responsibly drink at home while in high school before heading off to college, while 29 percent of parents think it is okay for high school students to drink as long as they don’t drive. This shows there is a lack of education about the dangers of underage drinking, not only among teens but also their parents.

Crucial brain development is still happening in the adolescent brain, sometimes all the way into the mid-20s. Drinking during this time period can hinder normal and positive brain development by altering the frontal lobe of the brain. This part of the brain influences decision making.

A study done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated in 2010 that 15.1 percent of teens ages 18-20 reported driving while under the influence of alcohol, which can be a consequence of judgment being compromised. The hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning in the brain, is also still developing so allowing teenagers to consume alcohol during these vital days of brain development could slow them down permanently and cause teens to have smaller hippocampi by 10 percent. Beginning to drink at this age could greatly affect a teen’s ability to stay focused and learn things in college or when starting a new job right out of high school.

Besides the physical deterioration alcohol can take on a teen’s body, the emotional response to alcohol could cause many psychological problems later in life that may not be resolved as an adult. During this essential time period in a youth’s life, mental illnesses can begin to appear. If a teen is consuming alcohol, the symptoms of depression and anxiety could go unnoticed or could greatly inflate, depending on how severe the illness is. Studies have also shown that girls who begin drinking at an early age are more at risk for suicide attempts later in life than those who don’t partake. If you have a teenager with a drinking problem, please call Legacy Freedom. You'll love our affordable outpatient programs for alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC.

alcohol rehab in wilmington NCAccording to a study done by the University of Rhode Island, it is estimated that nearly 1,800 college students die each year in car accidents and more than 750,000 are involved in alcohol related physical or sexual assaults. Parents want their teens to enjoy their summer break but these days have been dubbed as the “100 deadliest days of summer” in a study done by AAA. The study has found that about 1,000 people will be killed in crashes involving teens who have been drinking during the 100 days from Memorial Day until the fall season begins. By beginning to teach your teen about the dangers of alcohol at an early age, parents could help these numbers greatly decrease.

There are many ways parents can offer support to teens that show an interest in underage drinking. Besides monitoring a teen’s day to day activities, where, and who their teen spends time with, parents need to have an understanding and open environment for their teen to feel comfortable and safe talking about alcohol use. Parents should always encourage that alcohol be enjoyed in moderation and while in a safe environment, only when it is age appropriate. Even after your teen moves away from home, these values will be instilled in them. By helping your teen understand all of the serious and long term implications of their short term actions regarding alcohol, you help them make smart and informed decisions later in life, when they are no longer being monitored.

According to psychologist Dr. Jennifer Powell-Lunder, everyone is more relaxed during the summer months. Teens could be modeling their parent’s behavior if they see their parents drinking more.  Instead of relaxing and consuming large amounts of alcohol, try suggesting trying out a summer sports league that the whole family could join where alcohol use would be prohibited. If that isn’t something your family is interested in, try finding a teen summer camp.  Don’t let your teen become bored with all their free time and turn to alcohol.  Parents should already go over the consequences if their teen is caught consuming alcohol and set some ground rules for their teen to follow before the summer begins.

Summer vacation is supposed to be an enjoyable time for teens and parents alike. Remind your teen that the toll alcohol could have on their life is worse than any school or homework assignment ever was. Don’t let your teen end up a statistic; teach them the dangers of underage drinking.

Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Wilmington NC for Teens

If you’re considering getting addiction treatment for your son or daughter's drug or alcohol problem, give us a call at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center in Wilmington, NC. There is no reason to be afraid to get them help. Our caring admissions counselors can answer any questions you may have. We offer outpatient programs designed to let them continue to work and meet family obligations. Call us today to discuss the many treatment options we offer for drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC. We want to be a part of their recovery from addiction.

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