Cigarettes and alcohol, dangers from which you can protect him

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According to the American Association of Pulmonology Specialists, every minute 4,800 teenagers smoke their first cigarette, and about 2,000 of them will become addicted to tobacco.

However, specialists reassure us by saying that alcohol addiction is less common among young people, because it is established after a few years of excessive consumption. “Much more frequently we encounter what is called adolescent alcohol abuse (over six units of alcohol on a single occasion, in the case of boys, and over four, in the case of girls, a unit equivalent to a beer, a glass of wine or a power shot).

Alcohol abuse has negative consequences both on health and on school or social activities”, says Eugen Hriscu, psychiatrist specialist and executive director of the Alliance for the Fight Against Alcoholism and Drug Addicts (ALIAT).

How do you know when it happens?

It is enough to watch his behavior carefully for a week to realize if your teenager smokes or drinks alcohol. Thus, if he smokes, the first thing he does when he gets home is to go to the bathroom and wash his hands and teeth.

In addition, the young man avoids talking to you and looking you in the eye, starts coughing, his voice is a little hoarse and his clothes smell of tobacco. The signs of an alcohol problem are just as obvious: he comes home groggy, has friends who drink, and in more severe cases, begins to have a low interest in school or social activities. “Addiction adds to these signs the imperative need to drink daily and physical and mental ailments when the amount of alcohol in the blood decreases (for example, in the morning, when waking up)”, says Eugen Hriscu.

What to do?

In order to succeed in convincing your child to give up smoking and drinking alcohol, you must, first of all, know him very well and find a safe way to approach the subject: In almost all cases, the teenager will deny that he has a problem. In this situation, you have to prove to him that you are his friend and that you will not punish him. Show him that you wish him well and that you want to help him. Calmly explain to them why you do not agree with them continuing with these habits, referring, for example, to the fact that they are addictive, and talk to them about the risks they are exposed to. Tell him that he can get seriously ill and that his physical resistance will decrease.

Remind him also of the fact that cigarette smoke gives him a bad smell, of the way others look at him when he is under the influence of alcohol.

Give him a personal example. If you also smoke or drink alcohol, it is much more difficult to convince him to quit. Ideally, you should quit together.

Convince him to consult a specialist.

Engage with tact and kindness in the entire process of giving up these vices.

If you still fail to convince him with a kind word, you can resort to small constraints, such as forbidding him to leave the house for a while or cutting off his access to the Internet.

Who is to blame?

Teenagers easily find excuses to start smoking and drinking. For some, it may be the desire to stand out and win the admiration of colleagues. Sometimes it is a pressure from the group of friends, in which most of them smoke or drink, other times it can be the attempt to imitate the parents, the desire to break the rules and curiosity.

Unwanted consequences are hard to avoid

Adolescence is a period in which the body goes through numerous hormonal and neural transformations. Tobacco and alcohol can slow brain development, leading to cognitive problems, difficulty concentrating, and decreased memory skills, which may extend into adulthood.

In addition, they are more exposed to alcohol and tobacco addictions in adulthood, increasing the risk of cirrhosis and lung cancer. Alcohol abuse also predisposes young people to other vicious behaviors, such as casual sex and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Click! from readers

My son started abusing alcohol after joining a group of friends. He gave up this habit only after we managed to remove him from that entourage.