The following is an excerpt from “A sobering time for parents” by SHEILA WAYMAN (printed in the Irish Times 9-01-09)
“Our approach to drinking in Ireland is not normal; we drink to get drunk,” says consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Bobby Smyth, who specialises in addiction. Every day, through his work at the Drug Treatment Centre’s offices in Dublin, he sees the collateral damage of that culture among teenagers.
“We know the younger the person starts drinking, the more likely they are to develop a dependency on alcohol in later life, the more likely they are to develop a drug problem.”
They are also much more likely to take part in risky behavior and suffer accidental injuries. In addition, drunkenness is undoubtedly the gateway to other drugs.
The whole point of adolescence is to pick up the skills needed for an independent life. The last thing that’s needed at this stage is the “crutch” of some chemical substance.
“The longer kids avoid alcohol, the better for them” – both mentally and physically. It can cause irreversible damage to a still developing brain, not to mention the liver.
Continue reading “Avoiding Alcohol in Adolescence”