Childhood alcoholism is one of the most dangerous diseases of our time. In Russia and other CIS countries, it began to develop after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Alcohol is now available, and its use does not cause public censure and accompanies all parties. This leads to the fact that children begin to drink alcoholic beverages – out of interest, a desire to feel like an adult or under the influence of older children. However, their psyche has not yet been formed, so addiction develops quickly and addiction sets in. The average age at which modern children try alcohol is 10 years. Usually, adults poured alcohol to a child at a family feast, without thinking about the consequences of this. Earlier acquaintance of children with alcohol usually occurs by accident or again at the suggestion of parents who are treating with alcohol tinctures.
Stages of development of alcohol dependence in children:
In the first 3-6 months, a gradual and often imperceptible addiction to alcoholic beverages occurs. At the same time, the social environment in which the child is located plays a significant role.
If alcohol is regularly consumed for a year already, then during this period a change in the adolescent’s behavioral reactions occurs, however, the timely cessation of alcohol intake during this period gives a fairly stable positive therapeutic effect.
Further, if nothing is done, a stable mental dependence develops. During this period, the adolescent loses control over the amount of alcohol consumed, its quality, tolerance to ethanol increases 3-4 times, which leads to the formation of the first stage of chronic alcoholism.
Then the chronic stage of alcohol dependence begins with a rather pronounced withdrawal syndrome. Moreover, in contrast to adults, abstinence in children occurs with the use of large doses of alcohol, and in time it is shorter.
As a consequence of the previous stages – stable alcohol dependence, dementia sets in, children become angry (especially if there are neurophysiological prerequisites), asocial, intellectually degraded. Very often at this stage, against the background of increased tolerance to alcohol, the use of other intoxicating, toxic substances – acetone, glue, drugs – is added.
Children and adolescents often drink, imitating adults, wanting to assert themselves among their peers, hide from problems or prove to others that they are “already big.” At the same time, unlike adults, the child does not think about the consequences of alcohol abuse: the peculiarity of the immature psyche of the child is that he does not think about the future, he lives today. The consequences of childhood alcoholism are catastrophic: the child is rapidly degrading, and since this period of life is the most fertile in terms of the development of the psyche, the resulting disorders are much more destructive and significant. Very quickly, children who drink alcohol begin to lag behind in their studies, the range of interests is rapidly narrowing, the desire to improve, get an education, and develop is lost.
Irreversible changes in the body quickly occur: encephalopathy, fatty hepatosis and liver cirrhosis, ulcerative intestinal lesions, degenerative changes in the heart. This leads to the formation of severe malignant diseases at a young age.
In medicine, there are several age periods, critical factors, diseases:
The disease is unconscious. The child’s body begins to get used to alcohol in the womb, and dependence develops during breastfeeding. At birth, mental and physical abnormalities are possible, and the development of alcoholism in an older age is almost inevitable.
Irresponsible attitude of parents towards their child leads to alcoholism, often the disease develops in a family of alcoholics, where a bottle in the hands of a baby is a common thing. But even in a low-drinking family, child alcoholism can develop.
Here, the child’s environment at school and on the street is more influenced. The desire to be like everyone else, the desire to stand out, and perhaps an unsuccessful first love. This age is especially dangerous. During this period, even children in whose families alcohol is not welcomed gradually get used to alcohol. An additional negative factor of this period is the transitional age. It is important not to miss the moment when the child begins to get involved in alcohol.
Childhood alcoholism has a bad effect not only on the physical condition of their baby, but also on the mental one. This happens because alcohol leads to a disruption in the normal functioning of the whole body, including a bad effect on the heart muscle and blood composition. The alcoholic’s family must immediately react to this so that in the future the child does not become disabled or mentally unbalanced. Teenage alcoholism, as well as children, can contribute to the violation of the central nervous system. Also, alcohol dependence will cause liver upset and decreased immunity, and much more.
Children of alcoholics are more likely to be negatively influenced by alcohol than adults. They begin to degrade without having time to develop normally. The child begins to slow down in development, thinking worsens, he does not understand human values. In this case, he becomes a bully, participates in fights and becomes aggressive.
Treatment and prevention of child alcoholism
Childhood alcoholism is a social disease that should be treated nationwide.
Only a competent approach on the part of loved ones is the key to success in treating a child from alcohol addiction.
According to psychologists and narcologists, in cases where parents are unable to establish contact with their child, it is impossible to cure addiction. For parents striving, by all means, to save their offspring, experts recommend:
The experience of professionals shows that the effectiveness of treatment is mainly influenced by the characteristics of family relationships. Children, like no one else, feel the insincerity of the relationship and understand whether their parents are really interested in their life.
Not the least important in the treatment of child alcoholism are factors such as:
The situation is completely different in drinking families. The children of drinking parents are characterized by the presence of congenital alcoholism and characteristic mental disorders. The body of such a child requires alcohol feeding from birth. The social situation in which the child finds himself and his innate predisposition does not leave the child a chance.