For a long time, I wondered what exactly I would write about substance abuse. I wondered if I have enough knowledge about it and who am I to say anything on substance abuse. Until one of our group members said to write about my own starting points and my own perspectives. So I ended up writing about young people’s drinking and especially binge drinking. I wonder if it can for example potentially increase the risk of developing problematic relationship with alcohol in later age.
Often, for young people drinking and especially binge drinking is more acceptable than for adults or older people. Memory loss and general craziness under the influence of alcohol are somehow more acceptable when you are younger. Celebration and “reckless drinking” belongs to the youth but where does the line go? How long can you keep doing that? How long can you put carefree drinking at the peak of your youth and when do you need to really start worrying about it? I honestly believe that most of young people there do not have an alcohol problem and their drinking will also begin to balance along with their age and life situation. But are there some youngsters who suffer from this kind of binge drinking already at a young age? Can it be a risk to them in developing an alcohol problem?
On the internet I found this alcohol addiction test (https://paihdelinkki.fi/fi/testit-ja-laskurit/alkoholi/alkoholiriippuvuustesti-sadd) and took the test myself as well. The result I got was moderate alcohol addiction. I am quite certain that many of my friends, most of which are in their 20’s would get the same result as me or ‘worse’ results, especially after summer. Although, I got that result on my use of alcohol, I am not worried about most of my friends or about myself because alcohol is not a necessity for us even though, one or two summers may have been spent partying quite hard. One thing that does worry me is, if there are youth out there who have gotten the same kind of results as I have and he/she really is developing an alcohol problem but the result isn’t taken seriously because they are young? Are there some warning signals already at a young age in those people who will later in their life develop an alcohol problem? Heavy drinking is not recommended for anyone, but are there some people for whom it is more harmful than others?
I read this article which is a true story (STUDIO55.FI > TOSITARINA JULKAISTU 08.05.2016 11:59 ) about a 41 year old man who has been suffering with alcohol problem for most of his life. According to him the problem started to develop already when he was 14-15 years old. When most of his friends were planning to go out to have fun and drink beer, his only purpose of going out was to drink beer. Of course others didn’t notice that then. He said that there were signs but because he was young, they were only seen as marks for a good alcohol tolerance and overindulgences with alcohol were explained many times just at his a young age. Afterwards, he tells how the problem had been going on for a long time before he or anyone around him noticed it being a problem. He was hooked on alcohol at a very young age after his first attempts with alcohol, quite differently from others. The quantity of alcohol that he was consuming was significantly higher than others. Little by little, he also noticed that he was going for a drink, even though his friends wanted to stay home more often. He still had a compelling need for alcohol.
Of course, no one could have known it in advance, but would it have been possible to do something earlier? Would it have reduced the risk of developing alcoholism if his first alcohol experiment and binge drinking had only begun at a latter age?