YOUNG PEOPLE VERSUS ADULTS. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
A young person’s body cannot cope with alcohol the same way an adult’s can.
Drinking is more harmful to teens than adults because their brains are still developing throughout adolescence and well into young adulthood. Drinking during this critical growth period can lead to lifelong damage in brain function, particularly as it relates to memory, motor skills (ability to move) and coordination.
According to research, young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.
For some teens, like Samantha, drinking seems to be a solution to problems they don’t want to face.
“When I was 13, friends would make fun of me if I didn’t have a drink. I just gave in because it was easier to join the crowd. I was really unhappy and just drank to escape my life.
“I went out less and less so started losing friends and the more lonely I got, the more I drank.
“I was violent and out of control. I never knew what I was doing. I was ripping my family apart.”
Kicked out of her home at age 16, she was homeless and started begging for money to buy drinks. After years of abuse, doctors told her there was irreparable harm to her health.
“...I was only 16 but my liver was badly damaged and I was close to killing myself from everything I was drinking.” —Samantha