Youth against Alcoholism and Drug Dependancy



Did you know?

Short Term Effects of alcohol
Even at low doses, alcohol significantly impairs the judgment and coordination required to drive a car or operate machinery safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol can also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic violence and child abuse.

   Effects of moderate alcohol intake include dizziness and talkativeness. The immediate effects of a larger amount of alcohol include slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea, and vomiting. “Hangovers” are another effect after large amounts of alcohol are consumed — symptoms including headache, nausea, thirst, dizziness, and fatigue.


Long Term Effects
Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (alcoholism). Sudden cessation of long term, extensive alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions.

   Long-term effects of consuming large quantities of alcohol can lead to:
      • permanent damage to vital organs
      • several different types of cancer
      • gastrointestinal irritations, such as nausea, diarrhea, and ulcers 
      • malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies
      • sexual dysfunctions
      • high blood pressure
      • lowered resistance to disease

   Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants may suffer from mental retardation and other irreversible physical abnormalities. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other children of becoming alcoholics.



Girls are closing the gender gap when it comes to getting drunk and enjoying wild parties. According to the American Medical Association, the percentage of girls who drink is increasing more quickly than that of boys. The AMA is taking a public stand against "alcopops," sweet alcoholic drinks marketed to girls under names like Rick's Spiked Lemonade and Hooper's Hooch Lemon Brew. According to an AMA study, about one in four teenage girls has tried them. Girls are keeping up with boys on college spring break trips, although many later regret being a "girl gone wild." In another AMA study, 40% of the girls who went on such trips said they do not remember part of it because they were either drunk or passed out, 13% said they had sex with more than one partner, and 10% now regret engaging in public or group sex on the trip. Are America's doctors being old-fashioned when they warn only girls about the risks of too much partying? "Boys can, but girls can't," sounds like something your grandmother would say. However, there is new scientific evidence indicating that girls do face more risks when they drink, drug and sex it up compared to boys. And it's not just about unwanted pregnancy. Girls metabolize alcohol differently than boys. According to research done at Duke Medical Center, females can drink less and for a shorter period and yet experience the same level of effect as males who ingest more over a longer length of time. The reason is that the female body contains less water and more fatty tissue. In addition, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol works differently in females. Alcohol affects female brains differently than males', according to Dr. Young May Cha of Duke University. Women become less sedated from alcohol than men, but they experience more impairment of cognitive function and judgment. Girls also experience more severe hangovers than boys, even if they drank less. Females also become alcoholics quicker and at lower levels than men, although there are more male alcoholics. Alcohol damages girls' brains, livers, and other body parts quicker than boys'. In one study, girls with shorter histories of drinking than their male counterparts experienced more memory loss and inabilities to solve puzzles, read maps, and to understand complex lectures or a set of instructions. All alcoholics eventually lose brain cells and function, but this effect is worse in females. In studies done in Germany and the United States, researchers found women lost the same amount of brain tissue even if they drank less and over shorter periods than men did. The damage to female brains is worse for adolescents, because the human brain continues to develop until age twenty-one. Besides brain damage, women develop eating disorders, depression, cirrhosis, stroke, and cardiovascular damage from alcohol quicker and at lower levels than men do. With younger women, alcohol can affect puberty and disrupt menstrual cycles. Pregnant women who drink risk spontaneous abortion and severe damage to their unborn child. Alcohol is a carcinogen linked to breast cancer, and cancer of the mouth, larynx and esophagus. Alcohol is a big component in rape and sexual assault. In one large study of college women, about a fourth said they had experienced rape or sexual assault. Most of these crimes took place during a date or party, and 80% of the women knew their assailants. Many rapes and assaults involved physical and verbal pressure from the assailant, including twisting the victim's arm, holding her down, etc. Finally, half the crimes involved drinking. Dr. Antonia Abbey who led the study said that alcohol reduces a woman's ability to evaluate risk and to resist assault. Under the influence of alcohol, females do not pick up social cues and process information the way they normally would. If a woman is drunk, many men consider her "available" and act accordingly. Dr. Abbey and others believe that these crimes are vastly underreported, partly because of the double standard against drunken women. Unplanned sex leads to pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. If both parties are drunk during unplanned sex, males often do not use condoms. While a woman can protect herself against pregnancy by using birth control pills or undergoing abortion, she often does not consider the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, especially the lesser-known ones. Men transmit STDs to women four times more easily than women to men. STDs are usually more serious in women. For example, herpes sores are mostly external in males, but they appear internally in women's vulvas, vaginas, and urethras. Chlamydia has reached epidemic numbers: three out of four women under age 25 years have it. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are curable, but many women experience permanent damage to their reproductive systems because these STDs do not throw off symptoms until it is too late. Finally, females can develop cervical cancer through the transmission of the human papillomavirus virus during sexual intercourse. Learn about Date Rape Drugs -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What Parents can Expect While Their Teen is in Residential Treatment During residential treatment, a teen is encouraged to "try on" different feelings and talk about them in counseling. Gradually, a repertoire of appropriate feelings and behaviors will begin to emerge. In the interim, it is quite likely that your child may appear to "get worse" before he gets better. What kinds of emotions and behaviors are you likely to encounter in your newly recovering teen? There is a wide range, but three stand out: anger, manipulation, and joy in new growth. Learn more about what you and your child can expect while in treatment. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Living to Eat: Do You Have a Food Addiction? In many ways, food can closely resemble a drug - caffeine and sugar offer a quick pick-me-up while carbohydrates and comfort foods can help soothe and relax the mind. Some people use food, like drugs, to feel at ease in social situations or to unwind after a long day. Read about the signs of food addiction and learn about the treatment. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Short-term Wilderness Therapy Can Provide Long-Term Gains Wilderness therapy programs are one of the most effective interventions available to troubled teens today. These short-term treatments can "jumpstart" long-term changes in teens who have been using drugs or alcohol, or acting out in defiant ways at home or school. Although most wilderness programs only last a month or so, they are effective because they are very intense. Therapists live with the teens and work with them on a twenty-four hour basis. Learn how the wilderness setting itself becomes part of the therapeutic process.