Nation Current Affairs 08 Jul 2019 Hyderabad: Alcohol a ...

Hyderabad: Alcohol abuse affects teenagers emotions

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KANIZA GARARI
Published Jul 8, 2019, 1:58 am IST
Updated Jul 8, 2019, 1:58 am IST
n Paediatricians need to locally take up more research on the impact of alcohol use on the developing brain.
n The legal age of drinking must be strictly implemented by the state and there must be strict checking for the same.
 n The legal age of drinking must be strictly implemented by the state and there must be strict checking for the same.

Hyderabad: Alcohol is one of the most common substances abused by teenagers and it affects the development of their brain’s emotional and intelligence pathways. It is important for parents to counsel their children and set firm rules against its use, says a policy statement issued by the American Academy of Paediatrics.

The statement, which is to be adopted by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics in their adolescent health programme, requires treating cases of alcohol abuse in teenagers by counselling for both the youngsters and their parents as the latter play a major role in the onset of the addiction.

 

International standards have now identified the teen years to be up to the age of 21 based on the neurological development of the brain till that age. With their neurotransmitters still developing, teenagers who take alcohol before the age of 18 years impair the development of this important function. As a result, they may not be able to pay attention, their reflexes are found to suffer, and they are also found to exhibit aggressive behaviour, according to various studies carried out from time to time.

Says Dr Parag Shankarrao Dekate, senior paediatrician and expert in critical care: “The legal age of drinking is 21 years and it must be strictly implemented. It must also be noted that the changing environment has found that parents accept drinking socially and it is considered normal. When teenagers see parents with their friends, the same is mimicked by them and it is considered normal.  

 

“Parents are also under a lot of pressure that they must be ‘friends’ with their children and often it is found that they want to brush these things aside as part of the changing societal norms. But with increasing cases of trauma like accidents, injuries, violence, aggressive behaviours, it is becoming important to counsel both parents and teenagers of the consequences of underage drinking,” he said.

Paediatricians say that in most trauma cases the attention is shifted to the injury and the focus is on recovery but very little on the cause of it.

 

In incidents of fights or violent behaviour, parents request hospitals not to submit the blood report to the police as they do not want to get into legal hassles. Hence, brushing it aside or dealing with it at the home level is often resorted to unless it is a major case, says another paediatrician.

Experts state that various studies have shown conclusively that alcohol creates a pathway in the still-maturing brain for addiction.

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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