Teenage Alcohol Poisoning: Teens are Far More Susceptible than Adults
Teens are more likely to participate in underage drinking than any other type of substance misuse. Though they’re trying to act grown-up, teens’ bodies process alcohol differently than adults’, which can quickly lead to alcohol poisoning. In fact, the way in which teens process alcohol makes them more likely to binge drink than adults. The sobering fact is that teens are at risk every time they drink alcohol. These are the facts that parents, and their children, need to know about teenage alcohol poisoning and how they can stay safe.
Facts About Underage Binge Drinking
Alcohol can be very dangerous when a person gulps down several
drinks over a short period of time. On average, the human liver takes about one
hour to metabolize one alcoholic drink. While playing drinking games, doing
shots, or chugging drinks, a teen could consume four to five drinks or more in
just one hour, which may lead to alcohol poisoning.
5.7 percent of 7th-graders and 12.4 percent of 8th-graders reported binge drinking (5+ drinks per occasion) in the past 30 days.
1 in 6 teens binge drinks, yet only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks.
Younger teens and pre-teens who binge drink risk alcohol use disorder and addiction later in life, as well as prolonged depression.
As we mentioned above, alcohol affects teens in a very different
way than from adults. For example, teens become less sedated than adults when
drinking alcohol. As a result, teens are more likely to drink more alcohol in a
shorter period of time, increasing their risk of alcohol poisoning. This is
particularly dangerous in the long run as alcohol can also damage the areas of
the brain associated with memory and learning.
What is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning is a serious and potentially deadly effect of binge drinking. As you drink more, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level rises and the liver has trouble continuing to process the alcohol. Even when someone stops drinking or passes out, their BAC level will rise because alcohol in the stomach continues to enter the bloodstream.
Too much alcohol in the bloodstream can lead to areas of the brain that control basic life-support functions to start shutting down, and that can negatively affect breathing, heart rate, and regulating body temperature.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
The most common signs of alcohol poisoning include vomiting,
seizures and cold or clammy skin. Effects of alcohol are different on each
person, depending on their age, gender, tolerance for alcohol, the amount of
food eaten and any medications they’re taking. Do not assume the person will be
fine by sleeping it off.
immediately and do not leave the person alone if they have consumed a large
amount of alcohol and show the following signs:
Nausea and Vomiting
Severe Mental Confusion
Bluish Tinge to the Skin
Low Body Temperature
Loss of Consciousness
Inability to Wake
Stop Underage Drinking Before Tragedy Strikes
Studies suggest that kids who report close relationships with
their parents and openly discuss the effects of underage drinking are less
likely to start drinking alcohol. Talk It Out helps parents begin the important
conversation with a teen about the dangers of alcohol use, binge drinking and
alcohol poisoning. Take the
Pledge to stop underage drinking with the whole family to keep kids
safe and parents informed.