Teenage alcohol abuse in South Africa

“Statistics indicate that one out of every two teenagers in the average South African home is a user of alcohol,” SAB corporate affairs director Vincent Maphai said in a statement.

Deciding whether to drink is a personal decision that we each eventually have to make. The blog provides information on alcohol, including how it affects your body, so you can make an educated choice.

Effect of alcohol on the body

Alcohol is known to be a depressant slowing down the function of the central nervous system. Alcohol blocks some of the messages trying to get to the brain. Which ultimately alters a person’s

  • Perceptions
  • vision, and hearing
  • emotions
  • movement

Reasons that teens drink

Experimentation with alcohol f during the teen years is common. Some of the reasons teens use alcohol are:

  • Fitting in with peers
  • to feel good,
  • reduce stress, and relax
  • Curiosity
  • to feel older

How Can I Avoid Drinking?

Different strategies for turning down alcohol work for different people. Some people find it helps to say no without giving an explanation, others think to offer their reasons works better (“I’m not into drinking,” “I have a game tomorrow,” or “my uncle died from drinking,” for example).

If saying no to alcohol makes you feel uncomfortable in front of people you know, blame your parents or another adult for your refusal. Saying, “My parents are coming to pick me up soon,” “I already got in major trouble for drinking once, I can’t do it again,” or “my coach would kill me,” can make saying no a bit easier for some.

If you’re going to a party and you know there will be alcohol, plan your strategy in advance. You and a friend can develop a signal for when it’s time to leave, for example. You can also make sure that you have plans to do something besides just hanging out in someone’s basement drinking beer all night. Plan a trip to the movies, the mall, a concert, or a sports event. You might also organize your friends into a volleyball, bowling, or softball team — any activity that gets you moving.

Girls or guys who have strong self-esteem are less likely to become problem drinkers than people with low self-esteem.

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