Teenage Anxiety and Alcohol

Teenagers seem to turn to alcohol to cope with pressure at home and school. Teenage anxiety and alcohol abuse is a concern of family members and counselors.

Why teenagers drink

Teens consume alcoholic beverages excessively to cope up with symptoms of anxiety known as social anxiety disorder. Alcohol abuse is also a way for teens to escape from this kind of disorder. Teens use alcohol to reduceĀ  symptoms of anxiety but since alcohol is just a temporary remedy, teens are susceptible to repeated drinking sessions which eventually becomes a habit. However alcohol is not a good remedy for anxiety; it even increases anxiety over the next few days while adding irritability and another mental disorder called depression. Any amount of alcohol can affect the anxiety level or mood of any individual.

Alcohol and marijuana: An alarming mix

Teens with social anxiety disorder not only engage in alcoholism but even use marijuana. A study involving 195 teens, 52 percent of which are girls from ages 14 to 18, has alarmed students of the school of medicine of Case Western Reserve University who made the study. The study provided data showing that 92 percent of the participants are marijuana dependent while 62 percent suffer from alcohol abuse.

Teenagers who drink started at an average age of 13.5 but teens started drinking alcohol before using marijuana. Most teens with panic disorder or social anxiety disorder are not likely to suffer marijuana dependence. The results brought high concern to the researching students and showed the need for concerned authorities and individuals to prevent drug and alcohol use and initiate treatment for this problem.

A study by a group of Finnish researchers from the University of Tampere revealed that teens who used alcohol as a self-medication for anxiety would most likely to continue drinking up to an alarming two years with heavy drinking sessions done each week.
65 percent of the same teens who drank weekly consistently did this for the next two years while 55 percent of those not suffering from general anxiety disorder drank often as well. This study involved 1167 girls and 903 boys from ages 15 to 16. The study was done using questionnaire regarding teenagers drinking frequency, frequency of being drunk as well as about marijuana use. Other results revealed that 10 percent of the teens drank weekly, 3 percent become drunk weekly and 3 percent smoked marijuana weekly during start of survey.

The study concluded that anxiety is related to an almost three times increase for a teenager to become a frequent drinker after two years.

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