Incidence of Alcohol Use
• In the 2000 U.S. Census showed that 42% of
  youths aged 12 to 17 and 84% aged 18 to 25
  have had a drink.
• In 2000, about 30 percent of high school seniors
  and 15 percent of eight-graders reported at least
  one episode of in the previous two weeks.
• Alcohol is a major factor in crime.
• After the Vietnam War, many states lowered the
  drinking age to 18.
              Why Teens Drink
• Physical changes
  associated with puberty
  increase a person’s
  tolerance to alcohol
• Teens want to look more
  mature and less like
• Cognitive views emerge
  which allows teens to
  think in more relative than
  absolute terms
• Cognitive conceit makes teens likely
  to question authority figures
• The personal fable makes teens feel
• Heightened inferential skills make
  teens aware of adult hypocrisy
• The process of finding their identity
  involves teens trying new experiences
• Adolescents have more freedom and
  independence than children
• Adolescents spend more time with
  their peers than they do with their
• Teenagers commonly
  believe that the
  drinking rate amongst
  their age group is
  higher than it really is
• Adolescents are
  interested in romance
  and sex
• Drinking is perceived
  as a way to relax.
         Research shows…
• Parents attitudes and beliefs about alcohol
  affect adolescents’ drinking both at home
  and socially.
• A study of families determined to be at
  high risk for alcoholism found that alcohol
  expectancies of early adolescents were
  closer to their parents than those from low
  risk families who displayed significant
  negative correlations.
          Family Influence
• Family plays a significant role.
• Parents who drink are more likely to have
  adolescents who drink.
• Parents who don’t drink or disapprove are
  more likely to have adolescents who don’t
• STAT: 1/3 of any sample of alcoholics at
  least have one parent who was an
            Peer Influence
• Peer pressure is another cause of
  adolescent drinking.
• Why? Peer identification, sociability,
• Alcohol consumption tends to be an often
  response to loneliness and anxiety.
• Another major reason: rebellion.
• Alienate themselves from their family and
              More Reasons…
• 12-14 year olds believe
  that positive benefits are
  more likely to occur than
  negative effects.
• One study of 16-19 year
  olds, the heavy drinkers
  drank so much because
  they wished to be
  intoxicated, or they were
  motivated to improve their
• Underage drinking substantially increases the risk of
  developing an alcohol use disorder in adulthood
• Adolescents are more susceptible to negative cognitive
  effects of alcohol than adults
• Research shows that drinking is associated with risk-
  taking and sensation-seeking behavior, which can lead
  to multiple consequences.
• Adolescents who use alcohol are more likely to become
  sexually active at an earlier age, to have sex more often,
  and to engage in un protected sex, which places them at
  a higher risk of HIV infection and other STDs.
• Alcohol exposure during adolescence is linked with a
  reduced ability to learn compared with those not
  exposed until adulthood.
         Consequences Cont’d
• People who begin to drink before 15 are 4 times more
  likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who
  wait until 21.
• In 1997, 21% of young drivers ages 15-20 who were
  killed in car crashes were intoxicated.
• Approximately 240,000-360,000 of the nation’s 12 million
  current undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol
  related causes.
• According to the SAMHSA, 2.6 million young people do
  NOT know that a person can die from an overdose of
• 95% of violent crimes on college campuses are alcohol
  related and 90% of college rapes involve alcohol use by
  either the victim and/or assailant.
   Neurological Consequences
• Impaired vision and
  motor coordination
• Memory defects
• Hallucinations
• Blackouts
• Seizures
• Permanent brain
     Respiratory Consequences
•   Respiratory depression or failure
•   Pneumonia
•   Tuberculosis
•   Lung abscesses
•   Increased risk for mouth or throat cancers
  Cardiological Consequences
• Elevated blood pressure and heart rate
• Stroke
• Heart failure

         Liver Consequences
• Alcoholic fatty liver
• Hepatitis
• Cirrhosis
• Most cell loss occurs the cortex of the
  frontal lobe, the part of the brain involved
  in higher order thinking, such as planning
  and impulse control.
• Alcohol affects the hippocampus (a part of
  the brain involved in learning, memory and
  motivation) and the cerebellum (a part that
  controls balance and coordination and
         Short Term vs Long Term
•   Blackouts                          •   Impaired intellectual development
•   Hangovers                              and academic performance
•   Cognitive dysfunction              •   Alcohol dependence
•   Impaired vision                    •   Cirrhosis of liver
•   Impaired motor coordination        •   Hemorrhagic stroke
•   Sleep disturbance                  •   Certain cancers: kidneys, mouth,
•   Suicide attempts                       throat
•   Risky sexual behavior              •   Major depression
•   Risk for HIV infection/STDs        •   Memory defects
•   Seizures                           •   Permanent brain damage
•   Apathy                             •   Elevated blood pressure and heart
•   Introversion/antisocial behavior   •   Risk of stroke
•   Inability to concentrate           •   Heart failure
•   MIP/DWI/DUI                        •   Damage to GI tract
                                       •   Malnutrition
                                       •   Suppressed immune function
Drinking in Young Adulthood
          • Many young adults binge
            drink while in college.
          • Out of 762 ethnically diverse
            college undergraduates,
            25% engaged in binge
            – Compared to non-bingers and
              abstainers, bingers had higher
              rates of drinking related
UK Study of Undergraduates
      • Heavy drinkers (50 units or more a
        week for men, 35 or more for
        women) scored higher than light
        drinkers (8-20 a week for men, 5-
        14 for women) on measures of:
        – Tension reduction
        – Sexual enhancement
        – Dependency drinking issues
UK Study of Undergraduates
        • Heavy drinkers saw more
          benefits in drinking while light
          drinkers saw more drawbacks.
        • Top 3 Benefits found:
           – Self-confidence
           – Fun/humor
           – Social Life
UK Study of Undergraduates
       • Top 3 Drawbacks
         – Physical wellbeing
         – Finances
         – University Work
       • Heavy drinkers main
         concern was financial.
       • Light drinkers main concern
         was physical well being.
  First-Year Study
• Study of 265 first-year students:
  – Perceived parent’s approval of
    drinking habits
  – 69% experienced at least 1 drinking
     • Headache/hangover
     • Regretted sexual situations
     • Arrested for drunk driving
• Over 1/3rd perceived their parents
  would approve of them drinking
After College
• After graduation, consumption
  of alcohol greatly decreases
• Reasons:
  –   Getting married
  –   Entering workforce
  –   Increased responsibility
  –   Less time socializing

•   "Alcohol Use Among Adolescents." Alcohol Health and Research World 22.2 (1998):
•   "Basic Facts About Drugs: Alcohol American Council for Drug Education." (1999).
•   Boyle Phd Ms, Jennifer R., and Bradley O. Boekeloo Phd Ms. "Perceived Parental
    Approval of Drinking and Its Impact on Problem Drinking Behaviors Among First-Year
    College Students." Journal of American College Health 54.
•   Rice, F. Phillip, and Kim G. Dolgin. The Adolescent: Development, Relationships, and
    Culture. 11th ed. Boston: Allyn and Baker, 2005. 451-456.
•   “SAMHSA Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use." SAMHSA.
•   Sieving, Renee E., Geoffrey Maruyama, Carolyn L. Williams, and Cheryl L. Perry.
    "Pathways to Adolescent Alcohol Use: Potential Mechanisms of Parent Influences."
    Journal of Research on Adolecence 10.4 (2000): 489-514.
•   Stillwell, Paul. "Personal and Social Correlates of Alcohol Consumption Among Mid-
    Adolescents." British Journal of Developmental Psychology 23 (2005): 427.
•   Zeigler, D.W., C.C. Wang, and R.A. Yoast. "The Neurocognitive Effects of Alcohol on
    Adolescent and College Students." Prev Med 40.1 (2005): 23-32.

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