How to prevent alcoholism in adults and adolescents

Alcohol is the most widely consumed addictive substance in the population. Drinking is considered a cultural phenomenon, something fundamental for spending time with friends and having fun, and it is surely the belief that makes it seen as something low risk.

For this reason, frequent alcohol consumption is a well-established habit, and more and more people are crossing the delicate line between normal alcohol consumption and alcoholism.

The dangers of alcohol are numerous and therefore many people, especially frequent drinkers and worried parents, wonder how to prevent alcoholism. Below, we’ll take a look at some strategies geared towards this goal.

    How to prevent alcoholism?

    Alcohol is the most widely consumed addictive substance in many Western countries. Beer, wine, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages are considered a key component in many social situations, such as dinner parties, outings with friends, or important celebrations.

    Considering its ease of obtaining and its legality, alcohol is also one of the drugs responsible for many cases of addiction. Although there are all kinds of addicts, alcohol, along with tobacco, are the most common addictions in the population, which is why many people are trying to get out of this addiction, or at best. to prevent a drug. addiction.

    There is no magic formula to avoid alcoholism. Everyone is who they are and there are many situations and types of alcohol consumption that influence the development of alcoholism. However, there are several strategies to help parents of teens and adults concerned about their own use that have been shown to be quite effective.

    Although many people believe that alcohol is a substance that can have health benefits if consumed, the truth is that it only serves to disinfect wounds. What Said To Be A Glass Of Wine Helps Prevent Heart Problems Has Turned Out To Be A Fake.

    There is no evidence linking alcohol consumption to better health, quite the contrary. In addition to affecting concentration and other cognitive aspects, it causes damage to the liver and respiratory tract. In fact, most cancers of the larynx have been shown to be due to excessive alcohol consumption.

    In terms of behavior problems, alcohol consumption leads to disinhibition. This means that bad decisions can be made, such as the use of even more harmful substances, such as cocaine, designer drugs or pathological gambling (gambling addiction). Greater disinhibition is synonymous with unprotected sex and can lead to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and problematic behaviors such as destroying street furniture, which can lead to problems with the law.

    Why do teens drink?

    In a society where information and communication technologies are accessible to all, what adolescents decide to drink alcohol is clearly not because they do not know the effects of this substance on the organization. The reason they drink is, besides believing that what they saw on the internet shouldn’t happen to them, that they consider short-term advantages to be more relevant than long-term disadvantages.

    In popular teen culture, there is the idea that alcohol helps fit into the peer group. It is a way to gain acceptance from classmates. In addition, by drinking, they manage to obtain certain physical, sexual or psychological effects, in addition to a greater disinhibition that the more timid see as something extremely attractive.

    Prevention of risky behavior with alcohol

    The main goal of preventing risky behavior among adolescents is to prevent them from consuming alcohol. Although they may be close to adulthood, alcohol it can cause severe cognitive impairment in your still developing brain. For adults, prevention focuses on re-educating the person who may be most at risk of developing alcoholism, as well as teaching them strategies that will help them moderate or completely eliminate drinking.

    Prevention in adolescents

    To prevent alcoholism in adolescents, there are basically the following two strategies that parents and educators should consider.

    1. Encourage an assertive style

    It is common for teens who have tried alcohol to have attempted to use other substances, such as marijuana or, if they have had access to it, cocaine. Sometimes these cases are due to fairly notorious misinformation about the effects of these substances, however in most cases, they are due to the fact that adolescents are curious and furthermore, in an attempt to revolt, they refuse to listen to what adults have told them.

    Their normal communication style can be aggressive or passive, i.e. responding with growls or going Olympicly to what their parents are saying. This may be because they were seen by their parents, who may have a strained relationship style. This is why the best way to prevent the consumption of drugs, especially alcohol, is to speak without taboos on the subject. In this way, the adolescent is invited to explain himself, to explain what he has done, as long as he is not approached with questions that are too invasive.

    The goal is to get the teenager to have an assertive style of expression, saying what he wants in a sincere, direct and appropriate way., Feeling that the parents respect his point of view that he shares as the adult that he will be in a few years. Where appropriate, mention specific and specific behaviors related to possible alcohol abuse.

    2. Make the rules

    Establishing rules, privileges and sanctions is fundamental to any good education. Parents and educators should actively intervene to prevent bad behavior, Including alcohol consumption. Adult supervision and control should aim to help adolescents learn more adaptive behaviors.

    Watching the adolescent should not be taken as synonymous with controlling everything he does. The adolescent who feels controlled is frustrated or does his best to rebel. Ideally, speaking openly and without seeing it as a violation of his privacy, parents ask how his day was, what he did with friends, and what he would like to do with his peers.

    Being good parents does not mean being friends with the teenager. It is necessary to establish rules, limits and certain privileges to influence the behavior of the adolescent. One rule is that alcohol cannot be consumed during the week. This rule, of course, must also be respected by adults, who must ask if they are models of consumption or models of abstinence..

    In the event that there have already been incidents related to alcohol, sanctions can be imposed, such as withdrawal of privileges, reduction of salary, less time to stay with friends …

    3. What to do when you get drunk for the first time?

    Tackling the first drunk is a very difficult situation for any concerned parent. Not only because it can be traumatic to see a child in this condition, but it is also difficult to stay in shape. It is common not to know how to react properly to this situation, and anger, sadness, screaming, loss of nerves are common … Also, parents can escape hurtful comments which will not help.

    The first thing to avoid is to talk about it while you are getting drunk, i.e. not talking to the teenager when he cannot defend himself. Aside from the fact that he will barely remember what is said to him in this state, we will only make him behave more violently, opt for passivity and “what you say”. It’s best to postpone the conversation until the next day, when the boy is able to hold a dialogue without the world turning him around.

    The next day, when the conversation is taken, not the discussion, we must avoid dramatizing, even if it shows seriousness, because the situation demands it. The adolescent must understand that this is a serious matter, in which his parents are concerned about his health and that it is necessary to act in this regard, in addition to talking about it.

    Ideally, you start with questions like “what happened last night?” “What happened that made you feel bad?” … It is very important to let him speak for as long as he needs and calmly. What you should never do is drop comments like “what did I do to make you look like this”, “you are an irresponsible person” “drunk” …

    In the course of the conversation, we should try to find out the reasons he drank and the amount of alcohol he ingested. If it turns out that the teenager has not had enough information about the risks of alcohol abuse (which is difficult, although possible, despite the ICTs), we will facilitate it and take the opportunity to reflect.

    At the end of the day, we have to make him realize that we support him, and that we are not in favor of drinking there not meaning that we see him as an alcoholic, a failure in childhood, or that we stop loving it. You should understand that we are here to help you with whatever you need, And that if it happens again, that it is better not to be so, that you can call us to get it back. Although a lecture is sold the next day, he must understand that in a state of drunkenness, what he has to worry about is not the fight his parents are going to fight him, but his health.

      Prevention in adults

      Although as adults we are not as influential as teenagers, the truth is that alcohol abuse disorder can catch anyone off guard, especially after going through a very stressful situation. or traumatic, such as weight loss. , abuse, terrorist attack or sexual abuse. Many people take refuge in alcohol to try to endure all the pain and suffering these situations may have caused them..

      Fortunately, however, most adults consume alcohol for social reasons and without necessarily having psychological issues behind its consumption. Sometimes it can be due to simple social pressures and other times because we like to drink. But even if done in a controlled manner and for recreational purposes only, alcohol consumption is harmful and you need to know when to stop.

      Here are some strategies to keep alcohol from taking over our lives.

      1. Alcohol outside the home

      The best way to avoid falling into temptation is to keep it away. Alcohol should be kept away from the house so that it is avoided when you are bored. If the pantry contains all kinds of alcoholic beverages, you are more likely to be easily tempted.

      The first step is not to consume alcohol alone. You can buy a six pack of beers if friends come, but just drink it in front of other people.

      After the party or social event in question is over, the leftover alcohol can be given to guests to take with them or, in case they don’t want to, they can throw it away. sewer. We don’t have to feel bad throwing drugs in the trash.

      2. Substitutes

      Removing alcohol from the pantry, to try to calm the appetite you can buy other non-alcoholic drinks, such as soda water, tea, or soft drinks (preferably sugar-free) to fill the gap.

      It is not a good idea to buy non-alcoholic beer or other drinks in their non-alcoholic version, as their consumption increases the urge to consume. It is best to try to adapt the palate to the taste of drinks that do not normally contain alcohol, such as lemonade or those mentioned above.

      3. Avoid drinking sentimentally

      Alcohol consumption isn’t cheap because it is. We often drink alcohol alone for a variety of reasons, all related to feelings.: We are bored, we are sad, we feel alone, stressed … All these feelings are at the emotional basis of many addictions and we drink while waiting to see if the mood rises.

      But the problem is, alcohol is a depressant. After a few minutes, the rise drops sharply, lowering our morale and sinking even further. It makes matters worse.

      It is best to drink it only in certain social situations, When we are having a good time and there is a reason to celebrate, or directly never, because drinking alcohol in moderation is also harmful to health.

      4. Try alcohol-free activities

      In many groups of friends, going to a bar is a tradition. But that doesn’t mean that nothing new can be done, like hiking, biking, trying a new sport, signing up for a language course …

      When you do this type of activity in which alcohol is not welcome, you can have an experience with the group of friends, Unforgettable and without being blurry because of drunkenness.

      5. Surround yourself with people who don’t drink

      As surprising as it may seem, there are a lot of people around us who are sober, Or who consume alcohol on very specific occasions.

      It’s very healthy to share time with people like that, as they don’t encourage drinking and already know other ways to be entertained. It’s very nice not having to face people who invite us to consume every time we see them.

      On the other hand, if you know someone who drinks too much and there is no way to reduce their consumption, it will be better to stay away to prevent him from hurting us. You may realize that alcohol is losing friendships and choose to cut down on your alcohol consumption.

      6. Exercises

      Exercise is one way to deal with problems, as long as they aren’t too serious. As long as drinking is moderate but you want to reduce it, exercise is one of the best strategies for preventing alcoholism.

      Drinking makes us feel weak and weak, as well as causing weight gain, effects that are counterproductive to participating in a sport. If we want to be one hundred percent every time we go to the gym or run, we better not consume.

      If you register for a competition, such as a marathon, you quickly realize that you have to be as clear as possible and avoid, as much as possible, consuming all alcoholic beverages.

      7. Journal of alcoholic beverages

      Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption is easier for some people than for others. Some may drink it every day and decide to stop suddenly, others, on the other hand, find it more difficult..

      Whatever the situation, the best way to know how much you are drinking is to write it down, and that is why it is very appropriate to keep an alcoholic beverage diary, where you will note the amount, type, days, location. and why of consumption.

      The maximum daily alcohol limit recommended by the WHO is 30 g for men and 20 g for womenTranslating this into about 14 drinks per week for the first and between 7 and 10 for the second.

      Based on this data, we can know if our alcohol consumption is much higher than what the health authorities recommend. In the event that it’s not much above, but we get over it anyway, it would be a good idea to set a goal to achieve, such as dropping around 10 drinks a week for men, for example. example.

      When to seek help

      Everything that has been explained so far relates to cases where there has not yet been a serious drinking problem i.e. alcohol abuse disorder. However, from many people drink alcohol from time to time it is the quantity and the frequency which determine, in addition to the effects on the organism, the seriousness of the particular case.

      If you have severe cognitive and organic problems due to heavy drinking, in addition to violent behavior, problems with the law, and loss of relationships due to the substance, this is when you should consider the need to bring in a professional.

      Cognitive-behavioral treatment

      Although there are support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, these groups are not as effective as therapy provided by an addiction psychologist. The most common treatment is cognitive behavioral treatment.

      One of the goals of this treatment is to get patients to identify and correct problematic behaviors, In this case, excessive alcohol consumption, in addition to identifying them predispose

      All this will be done by teaching them skills that will allow them to stop the abuse and solve problems that can be used to increase the behavior (fights with the partner, abuse, visiting alcoholic friends …)

      The strategies generally taught aim to improving self-control, techniques that are generally continued by patients after therapy is completed.

      Trust your family and friends

      Leaving the drink is extremely difficult however one tries to do it alone, as is the case with other addictions. If the right situation arises, if you have loved ones who have no problem with drinking and who can provide effective support.

      In these cases, it’s a good idea to ask the family for help, as long as they are aware of the seriousness of the situation. Inform them that you are going to a psychologist and follow the guidelines that the professional has recommended. to the family is one of the ways to ensure the effect of treatment.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Elzo, J. (dir) et al (2009): “Drug cultures among youth and parties”. Vitoria, Central Publications Service of the Basque Government.
      • Ashery, RS; Robertson, EB; i Kumpfer, KL; (Eds.) (1998): “Prevention of drug abuse through family interventions”. NIDA Research Monograph, No. 177. Washington, DC: US ​​Government Printing Office.
      • Battistich, V; Solomon, D,; Watson, M .; and Schaps, E. (1997): “Caring School Communities”. Educational psychologist, vol. 32, nº3, p. 137-151.

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