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Home arrow Education arrow 100 Questions & Answers About Alcoholism

I experimented with drugs and alcohol as a teen and grew out of it without the need for treatment. So why are they telling me that my daughter needs treatment?

Each persons makeup includes the genes from both the mother and the father that are amalgamated in a unique way; therefore, a child might have a greater genetic predisposition to addiction than either one of the parents may have had. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition to alcohol and drug abuse, it does not mean that a child definitely will or will not become addicted as an adolescent or adult. Just because you did not succumb to an addiction after experimenting with drugs as a teen does not necessarily protect your child from a substance-use disorder.

Other factors, including other social, psychological, and historical factors, may also increase the chance that your child is at greater risk for addiction than you. Social factors may include immediate family issues, such as conflict, or environmental differences, such as neighborhood or school. If your family gave you emotional support and provided the opportunities to substitute drug use with more appropriate stress releasers or you did not experience a lot of peer pressure to do drugs or if you had specific goals that you wanted to accomplish as a teen that were hindered by the use of drugs and alcohol, then it probably was easier for you to "grow out" of using drugs and alcohol than it might be for someone else. Peers play a critical role in the choices that children make in their lives. Psychological factors include depression, low self-esteem, dependency needs, inability to cope with overwhelming feelings of psychological pain, and a history of ASPD or hyperactivity. These traits may explain why the experts are telling you that your daughter needs treatment. Finally, historical forces cannot be ignored. During the 1960s, one marijuana cigarette contained 10 mg of the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol. Today, a marijuana cigarette contains 150 to 200 mg. The higher dose may lead to a stronger addiction; a stronger chance of addiction most likely means that the craving is worse, making it harder to stop using. Thus, your daughter and her genetic, psychological, environment tal, and historical makeup are different from yours and are not to be discounted.

Each persons makeup includes the genes from both the mother and the father that are amalgamated in a unique way; therefore, a child might have a greater genetic predisposition to addiction than either one of the parents may have had.

Tetrahydrocannabinol the psychoactive ingredient to marijuana that gives it its hallucinogenic and appetite effects. It is also pharmaceutically synthesized and released under the trade name Marinol and is prescribed as an appetite stimulant for cancer and AIDS patients.

I am concerned that my teenager is drinking. I have heard about parents having "key parties" in their homes to ensure that the teens don't drive home drunk. What are they f

A key party is a teenage drinking party that the teens host with parental consent; the parents also closely supervise the teens. For example, in 2004, a parent was presented with a request from his child for permission to celebrate his senior prom at an all-night beer blast with his fellow classmates. The intended party was to be at a beach, which was 40 minutes by car from their home in Rhode Island. The parents were alarmed, particularly at the thought of a group of inebriated teens driving home from the beach. The family carefully weighed the options: to say no and alienate their son, to ignore the teens plans and jeopardize his safety and that of the other teens, or to negotiate a compromise. The parents knew that drinking among teenagers in their town was common. They also knew that if they had a party that allowed drinking they would be breaking the law. In an effort to keep the teens safe, however, the parents developed a compromise that was against the law but prevented the teens from drinking and driving. The parent's inherent dilemma was safety versus legality.

A key party is a teenage drinking party that the teens host with parental consent; the parents also closely supervise the teens.

The parents proposed the following: Their son could have the party at his home under specific circum stances: (1) The sons friends would agree to give up their car keys after entering the parent's home (hence the term, key party). (2) The guests would have to remain at the home all night with their parent's permission. (3) During the entire night, the father would be available to collect the keys from everyone who attended the party, stand by the door to prevent any one from leaving after the drinking began, and monitor the party so that no one did anything untoward or dangerous. The parents did not participate in buying the beer nor did they know how the teens obtained the beer. A young person of drinking age brought the two kegs of beer. Tents were pitched in the backyard so that the teens could spend the night. On the morning of the party, the father stopped by the local police station to warn the police about the party; however, the neighbors complained about the noise sometime after midnight. Consequently, the police went to the home and noticed the two kegs. Of the roughly 35 teens who were at the party, most were under 18 years old. The father was arrested for breaking the law because alcohol was served to minors in his home.

According to researchers, many parents think that drinking among teenagers is unstoppable and the choices they must make unbearable. Many teens see drinking as a "rite of passage to adulthood." The parents may or may not agree with this, but more importantly, they want to keep their children safe. Do they risk losing their teen in a tragic motor vehicle accident or risk violating the law? Consequently, parents make compromises. The following results from a survey of several thousand parents and teens illustrate these compromises. The parents often, but not always, supply the alcohol to teens.

 
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