Before the age of 18, approximately one in four children is exposed to family alcoholism, alcohol abuse or addiction.
Abuse is an intense desire to obtain increasing amounts of a particular substance or substances to the exclusion of all other activities.
- A brain disease expressed as a compulsive behavior.
- The continued abuse of drugs (including alcohol) despite negative consequences.
- A chronic, potentially relapsing disorder.
Substance Abuse and Your Health
- Genetics contribute to drug abuse and addiction.
- Alcohol impairs the brain and results in addiction with repeated use, in the same way as other drugs.
- Long-term drug and alcohol use changes the way the brain functions.
- Drug addiction is a chronic illness with relapse rates similar to those of hypertension, diabetes, and asthma.
Children and Teens:
- Youth who drink alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to develop dependency on alcohol than those who wait until age 21.
- Waiting until age 21 to try alcohol lowers the risk of alcohol dependency by 70%.
- Children of alcoholics are significantly more likely to begin drinking during adolescence and to develop alcohol use disorders.