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Delaying The Sip

“I only get drunk on weekends, so what’s the big deal? It’s not like I’m addicted.”

Although addiction can strike anyone, some kids are at higher risk even before they take their first sip. A family history of alcoholism and certain environmental factors can increase a child’s risk of addiction. Such as divorce, physical or substance abuse at home, and social and academic problems. While parents can’t change their genetic makeup and many of the environmental factors, they can help delay their child’s exposure to harmful substances
If kids use any addictive substance—alcohol, drugs or tobacco—before the age of 18, they increase their risk of addiction to 1 in 4. According to a recent study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. Delaying their first use to the age of 21 or older, their risk of addiction drops to 1 in 25.
Today, 46 percent of U.S. high school students are using addictive substances. 1 in 3 meet the medical guidelines for addiction. As people move into the addiction cycle, they continue to drink despite the harmful consequences. Additionally, they develop increased tolerance, so they start to drink greater amounts of alcohol.
“If a kid is drinking to the point of passing out and drinking a half a case of beer three or four times a month, that’s pretty significant,” says Rosenker. Many people think they need to drink every day to be considered an alcoholic,. He says the biggest factors are how much alcohol they consume and what happens when they drink.
“Do they lose control, do they black out, do they do things under the influence that they normally wouldn’t do if they were sober? Have there been behavior changes over time?Those things are more telling than how much somebody uses.
By// Angela Ambrose
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