College students across America are coming under fire for underage drinking, and their parents want to know why universities aren’t doing more to prevent student parties. There are many types of substance abuse, but alcoholism is taking a severe toll on younger Americans. Residential drug treatment facilities that also deal with alcoholism report that alcohol is the third most common cause for death and bodily injury. Furthermore, alcoholic rehabilitation costs our health care system more than $8 billion each year. Students who start to drink may not realize the toll it takes on their health or the injury it may cause them in the long-term.
In general, people who seek treatment at substance abuse treatment centers are three times more likely to suffer from a mental illness, experts say. Commonly referred to as “dual diagnosis,” mental health issues concurrent with substance abuse problems are responsible for as many as 80,000 deaths every year. People who are abusing drugs may not realize that they are getting themselves into dangerous situations: by the time they realize that they are at risk, it may be too late. Likewise, students who engage in underage drinking at parties or with friends may not realize that they drank too much until it is time to visit the emergency room.
Shockingly, about 30 people die from car accidents involving alcohol every day, and college students consistently report that they drive drunk or “buzzed.” There has been a successful public awareness campaign over the past several years focusing on getting Americans to stop texting and driving: perhaps it is time for more public education on the risks of driving while drunk or under the influence of other drugs. Substance abuse facts are scary: about one in every five men and one in every 10 women will abuse alcohol at some time in their lives. Health studies show that alcohol withdrawal symptoms can affect every part of a person’s body: typically, when people are abusing alcohol and suddenly quit, they experience tremors referred to as “the shakes.”
About five to 10 hours after their last drink, an alcoholic will start shaking uncontrollably. If they experience more violent tremors, they should immediately attend a residential treatment facility, experts say. The shakes can also be accompanied by difficulty sleeping, perspiration, and speeding heartbeat. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms continue to get worse: after a full day of not drinking, an alcoholic may have auditory hallucinations and seizures. The risk of seizures that lead to a much more serious condition called delirium tremens is why substance abuse experts recommend detoxing under the care of a certified residential treatment facility.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also include heart attacks, strokes, or even death in some cases. Taking the time to talk to a substance abuse counselor can help people whose drinking has been out of control to get the help that they need. Every day, more than 7,000 children under the age of 18 try alcohol for the first time, recent studies show. These kids are four times more likely to develop into alcoholics than their counterparts who try alcohol at the age of 21. Perhaps it is the illicit thrill of drinking that motivates these underage alcoholics, but given the high risk of injury and death alcohol loses its luster. Having a serious drug and alcohol problem before finishing high school is an unfortunate reality for many American teen addicts.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are best dealt with under the supervision of professionals. If you have a teenager in the house, you can ask them if they have ever had a drink. There are a wide range of home breathalyzers that are available for purchase online: if you suspect your teen of drinking, you should immediately confront them before their alcohol intake gets out of hand. Nobody wants to become a statistic, but they may need convincing before starting down the difficult road to long-term sobriety.