Alcohol's Effect on Young People
Mounting evidence in the past decades has changed our understanding of alcohol and its effect on health and society. We now know that alcohol is a toxic substance，which causes more than 200 diseases, exerting both immediate and long-term effects on health. Because of young people’s biological and psychological vulnerability, is more likely to cause damage to memory, learning, emotional and social wellbeing:
Drinking is harmful to youths’ brain development
Research shows that:
- Youths with long-term alcohol consumption have poorer memory.
- Alcohol is a toxin against youth brain development. It affects nervous system development and self-control ability.
- Youths who start drinking before age 12 are more likely to have violent behaviours or injuries later on due to drinking or to skip lessons.
- ‧ Youths who start drinking before age 18 are more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence in adulthood. The risk would be even higher if they started drinking earlier (before age 15).
Excessive drinking can cause death
- Drinking 5 cans/glasses or more of alcohol at one go.
- Can lead to road traffic accidents, violent behaviours, unsafe sex, alcohol poisoning, etc.
- Research shows that binge-drinking youths have worse academic performance and more risky behaviours against health.
- When blood alcohol content is too high, the nerves that control breathing, heart beat, body temperature, etc. will stop functioning, causing sudden death.
- Symptoms: mental confusion, vomiting, seizures, breathing difficulty, blue-tinged or plae skin, coma.
Alcohol can lead to weight gain
- Each gram of pure alcohol carries 7 kcal but no nutrition value.
- 1 can of beer (330ml) = 142 kcal = 7 sugar cubes
- Also, drunkenness can a¬ffect nutrient absorption, leading to deficiency in Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B9, C…
Furthermore, alcohol is a cancer-causing agent. For better physical and mental health, young people should keep clear of alcohol.