Teenagers drink alone. Parents don't see the problem

The times when teenagers hid drinking alcohol are over. We are seeing another disturbing trend: young people drink alone. Why? Simply: they can. They want to de-stress and feel better. Parents do not react. They don't know how. They say that "youth must go wild". Over 50 percent parents consent to underage drinking.

See the movie: "Do you drink alcohol? Such changes take place in the body"

1. They drink alone

They steal or illegally buy alcohol in the store. They meet their peers and hide from adults in order to be able to "relax" together. They ask their older friends to buy them a beer and "secretly" empty their bottles in the park. No, today young people do not hide their drinking.

- Teenagers drink alone more and more often, they close themselves in their elegant villas near Warsaw. The computer becomes a sanctuary. And, for example, while playing, they sip a brewery, because it's not alcohol. Parents have peace of mind. I know a 17 year old who is now at the resort. Such drinking of beer with smoking marijuana caused him to completely fall out of social roles - says Robert Rutkowski, an addiction specialist.

Teenagers are increasingly drinking alone

2. Why do they reach for alcohol?

They want new experiences, madness, but also relaxation. These are the main reasons why teenagers turn to "spirits". Unfortunately, a lot of role models are taken from home. They remember their father's name day, summer barbecue and their cousin's first communion.

- Adolescents consume alcohol for the same reasons as adults. For a better mood. This term bothers me, because we call the improvement of mood a psychoactive substance intoxication of the body. In this case, improving mood is called cutting off stimuli, says the therapist.

It can be seen that parents approach this problem liberally. They remember themselves from years ago. Sometimes they got carried away at a party, but it didn't end badly. What has changed since then?

- What has changed over the decades is knowledge. 10-15 years ago, we did not know how alcohol affects a person. Alcohol is called a stimulant. From the point of view of biology, it's a drug. We should adapt to the achievements of science. During the war, the slogan "sugar strengthens" was popular. Now we know how unhealthy it is. It is similar with alcohol - says Rutkowski.

3. They don't even hide

RARHA research, funded by the European Union, shows that adolescents are the group most often addicted to alcohol. In the last report, the following column was introduced: "parents' consent to the consumption of alcohol by their children aged 15-18. Half of the caregivers consent to drinking in their presence.

- The most frightening thing is that parents try to socialize their children by teaching them to consume alcohol. They consider it a life skill. This is completely absurd. It is as if the day when the smog alarm is exceeded, the mother takes a small child to the playground to make them resistant to pollution - says the therapist.

The therapist only has one piece of advice for parents who are concerned about teen drinking. They should start by setting role models.

- You mustn't be a hypocrite. In line with the principle of "yourself be the change you want to see in the universe", kids are like sponges and like video recorders. The child absorbs the images - says Rutkowski.

Many parents who want to protect their child from alcohol allow drinking at home. They believe that it will be safer for children who avoid libations or conflicts with the law. It sounds absurd, but it's standard in many homes.

- This shows what a parent has to do with the child they consider their property. This is called sick love, or overprotection. There is a contradiction here. They want to protect the child and poison it with a psychoactive substance. Anyone can be a parent. But few are wise now - says Rutkowski.

Attitudes and expectations towards alcohol are formed very early. Children under the age of 9 have a poor perception of alcohol. After the age of 13, they look at the percentages more graciously. However, after the age of 16, they perceive them very positively, they start to be interested in them and try.

- The very fact of looking for these substances is already diagnostic. The desire to poison oneself, cut off from the outside world is usually caused by difficult relationships: either at school or with parents. Alcohol dependence is not the most dangerous. The worst part is how alcohol affects the brain, which is not fully developed by the age of 25. It is easier for young people to become addicted because they do not have all protective barriers developed - warns the specialist.

4. Bad grass and good alcohol

The therapist emphasizes that desperate parents, whose children are addicted to drugs, come to him. After the conversation, it turns out that, for example, marijuana is "watered" with alcohol. Usually these are addictions "in a package" - cigarettes, alcohol, weed.

- The most surprising thing for me is that parents do not worry about their child drinking alcohol. For them, it is a social norm. From my clinical observation, it is very rare to deal with young people who are homogeneous, that is, addicted to one substance. Usually there are several of them. This is a completely different disease entity. The young organism is prone to addiction because no protective barriers have been developed yet, says Rutkowski.

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