Dentists and Doctors See Drug Abuse by Teens

dentist help teen abuse

Dentists and doctors agree: you don’t even need to read about it – everyone just knows that the legal drinking age old for the country is 21. Well how is it then that 9 out of 10 high school students confess to their dental office or doctor’s staff of having tried alcohol at least once? The decision to drink or not to is basically a personal one. Most experts believe that given adequate information, teenagers will decide not to succumb to drug and alcohol abuse. Just a visit to the dentistry clinic or physician’s office aren’t enough to convince them of the hazards. That’s what’s behind all the public service advertising that goes the “this is your brain on drugs” route.

An argument that teens use to defend their drug and alcohol abuse to their doctor or dentist is by way of the claim that these are not unnatural chemicals usually. You get alcohol fermenting grain, fruit and vegetables. Fermentation is what produces baked goods and some dairy products. How can that be bad, they ask. Well, that’s kind of a silly argument. Not everything that’s natural, is good for you. When alcohol gets into the body, it enters the bloodstream and then goes and shuts down the central nervous system when it reaches it. The brain continues to develop through the teen years (that’s the main reason why the legal drinking age is set at 21). Plying it would alcohol is likely to harm the way the brain develops through these vital years. The fliers available in the medical or dental office seem to have no affect.

But there is no need to go into the biology of how drug and alcohol abuse can hurt. There are some pretty obvious reasons why these are best stayed away from. To begin with, it’s against the law. You can get arrested for the possession or use of alcohol if you are underage. And that goes on your permanent record. And of course, it affects how well you play sports. If alcohol is something you believe will make you look cool, just think of how cool a tripping, uncoordinated sports person is. Which brings us to our next point. People who drink get bad breath, and they lose bladder control often. Maybe they look cool when they’re actually beginning with their drinking; but a few minutes later, all the cool vanishes when the drink sets in.

Of course, it can be a little hard to say “no” when all your friends are doing it and they seem to be getting by okay. The doctor or dentist can’t influence decisions nearly as much as parents. Making up a reason like saying “I have a big test tomorrow” or better still, “there is a major game I’m preparing for tomorrow” can often go over well.