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Avoid Alcohol Rehab – How to Talk to Your Kids about Alcohol so They Don’t Drink

Many parents face the dilemma of trying to bring up their kids so they don’t drink alcohol. Or, at least, don’t abuse it. If someone does have an alcohol problem, they can get alcohol addiction help through an alcohol rehab program. But prevention is far easier than the cure: Once a person gets to the point of getting treatment, they have often done a lot of damage to their body, their family, and themselves. And sometimes it’s irreversible.

Educating kids on the dangers of alcohol is a common prevention method, but here are a few relatively new statistics that could be pretty convincing.

  • One out of every five alcoholics who attempt to stop drinking without medical intervention end up dying as a result of alcohol withdrawal delirium. So, in fact, it’s not just will power or the mental and emotional dependence on alcohol that keeps people from quitting. The symptoms they experience are so severe they feel they just have to have another drink or they’re going to die. And, in one out of every five cases, they’re right. That really gives you a clue as to how bad drinking can be.
  • 68% of people who go to hospital emergency rooms have an alcohol or drug problem. Just to give you more of an idea of how many people that represents – there are nearly 124 million ER visits every year, so that means over 84 million people with drug or alcohol problems are in ERs. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about not wanting to go to a hospital emergency room because they don’t want to wait for hours in a room with a bunch of ‘drunks’ or ‘druggies.’ Does your son or daughter want to be one of them?
  • They should also know that most of these people in ERs aren’t hardcore, long-term alcoholics. The millions of accidents and injuries that occur while drinking often happen to people who are not really alcoholics at all.
  • 20% of suicide victims in the US are alcoholics. You might be tempted to say that’s logical because if they weren’t really depressed or otherwise kind of messed up, they wouldn’t be alcoholics in the first place. Well, to a degree, that’s true. But people often start drinking for much more mundane reasons than wanting to kill themselves. They start because their friends think it’s cool, or because everyone around them drinks and they want to feel like they’re part of the crowd. And, by the way, this isn’t always because of ‘peer pressure’ – sometimes it’s just a matter of having people to talk to and hang out with. If all the people around you who you might want to hang out with are drinkers, it’s hard to talk to them unless you’re drinking too. Even just being a ‘little high’, not drunk, can be a vastly different world than being ‘sober.’
  • Whatever the reason the person started drinking, alcohol can make you depressed – the longer you drink, the worse it gets. Also, the chances of alcohol causing problems in your life are very high – someone’s orderly life can turn into a mess once they start drinking. They lose family, jobs, friends, money, relationships, etc.
  • At this point, you can be sure that they have wanted to quit for along time – they’ve seen the slide in their life. But, because alcohol is so addictive both mentally and physically, they have not been able to quit. So they slide down even further – their self-esteem is destroyed as they see their lives go down the drain and can’t do anything about it. Is it really surprising that under those circumstances someone would kill themselves?

Let your kids know about these things. Get them to really look at how bad it can get. That should help them realize that drinking has consequences that they really don’t want.

And in case they think they’re immune to all that, point out to them that there’s not much chance that anyone thought they’d become one of those statistics when they started drinking. No matter how they feel now, or who they think they are and  how they would react or respond to things, alcohol will change them.

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