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What are the dangerous effects of alcohol use in children and youths?

In Zimbabwe a child is considered anyone below the age of 18. In CADASA’s work we consider a youth to be anyone below the age of 24.

  • Alcohol decreases one’s ability to concentrate whether in class or their day to day.
  • A teenage brain that has been exposed to alcohol is at risk for being smaller in certain parts responsible for important body functions.
  • In contrast to adults, teens tend to abuse alcohol with other substances, usually marijuana which makes them get intoxicated faster and the effects become worse on the body.
  • Youths who drink heavily tend to complete fewer years of education compared to youths who do not.
  • The younger a person is when they begin drinking, the more likely they are to develop a problem with alcohol- Alcoholism.
  • Alcohol is involved in nearly half of all violent deaths involving youth.
  • Intoxication is associated with suicide attempts using more lethal methods, and positive blood alcohol levels are often found in people who commit suicide.
  • Teens who drink are more likely to engage in sexual activity, have unprotected sex, have sex with a stranger, or be the victim or perpetrator of a sexual assault.
  • Girls who drink are likely to fall victim to early pregnancies.
  • Teens who take alcohol are likely to have early sexual contact (losing their virginity) thereby increasing the chances of them contracting STDs and HIV and AIDS.
  • Excess alcohol use can cause or mask other emotional problems, like anxiety or depression.
  • Drinking in excess can lead to the use of other drugs, like marijuana, cough mixtures,  cocaine, or heroin.

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