A Study on the Effects and Treatment

Alcohol related mishaps and accidents remain the largest concern of society and in response to this more and more sectors of society have been implementing rules to curb the negative effects of teenage drinking.  There is no doubt that society has seen the negative consequences of teenage drinking.

In a national probability sample of 4,023 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, it was found that 15% of the sample used alcohol, 10% used marijuana, and 2% reported hard drug use in the past year (Farrell, 2006, p 284)).  This means that the problem of underage or teenage drinking is even more prevalent than other substances.

Although some alcohol consumption among adolescents is considered normative, there is great concern for the number of teens who are exhibiting signs of alcohol abuse or dependence with 7% of the above sample meeting diagnostic criteria for alcohol, marijuana, or hard drug abuse or dependence.
Trends in alcohol use reported in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicate that binge drinking (five or more drinks on one occasion during the 30 days prior to the survey) has shown little variation over the past several years, ranging from 31.3% in 1991 to 33.4% in 1997 to 31.5% in 1999 (Eaton, 2005, p. 79).
Drinking continues to be a problem among youth and needs to be targeted specifically.  This drinking problem has led to a number of problems such school absenteeism and failure, depression, risky behaviors (especially driving under the influence), addiction, and death.
This brief discourse, shall tackle the issue of alcohol abuse in teenagers as well as the possible treatments that can be done.  It shall also provide an etiological perspective of the problem in order to show the different factors that affect teenage alcoholism.
Working as a school counselor for this age group, I agree with the American Academy of Child and Adolescents Psychiatry’s Report (2007) which states that the following groups are most at risk for alcohol abuse: 1) teenagers with a family history of addiction, 2) teenagers suffering from depression, 3) teenagers suffering with low self-esteem, and 4) teenagers that have academic problems.
It has been shown that from the following groups the teenagers with a history of alcohol have higher rates of alcohol addiction with over 42% of the sample size coming from that background.
The next group is that of those who were drinking because they were upset with a rate of 40% while the rest admitted that they usually drink because of low self-esteem and peer pressure which accounts for 25% of the teenagers (Farrell, 2006, p.284).  The number of teenagers that drink due to academic problems has steadily been on the rise since 1998 and is now at a rate of 25% of the teenagers.  From the list, one could argue that most teenagers have been in one or more of its categories at one time in their lives.
Etiological Approach:
The article, Etiology of Alcoholism Reconsidered, is an insightful article that provides a biophysical analysis of the problem.  Alcohol related mishaps and accidents remain the largest concern of society and in response to this more and more sectors of society have been taking steps to understand the nature of the problem.  One such approach is the biophysical approach conducted by Vailliant and Milofsky on the Etiological Approach to Alcoholism.
It is theorized in the study conducted by Vailliant and Milofsky that there are other factors that must be considered when studying the problem of alcoholism.  According to the authors, there are personality and childhood influences that must be examined in order to arrive at a better understanding of the problem.
In the study conducted, Vailliant and Milofsky studied many different factors and collected different types of date including ethnicity, heredity, psychological instability, childhood and adult personality variables, and family background (Vailliant and Milofsky, 1982, p43).  The data that was collected from all of this was then used to quantify the variance of each of the different etiological factors.
It was from the data analytic strategy that Vailliant and Milofsky were able to draw the conclusion that whenever there are correlations that exist between alcoholism and certain behavioral patterns or symptoms, it is usually alcoholism that is the cause of such behavior or symptom rather than it being the result (Vailliant and Milofsky, 1982, p483).
Alcoholism is, according to the authors, not so much a disorder whose etiological causes are personality and behavior but rather, it is a precedent for such behaviors.  It was also noted from the study that “premorbid antisocial behavior” is a major contributor to the etiology of alcoholism.
Another important finding in the article is the fact that while Vailliant and Milofsky greatly downplayed the role of child antisocial behavior, it played a significant role in most of the categories.
As with the other etiological factors, it has been shown that there are correlations that have been overlooked or underrepresented in the study conducted by Vailliant and Milofsky.  As such, this has led to the theory of Zucker that in order for there to be an accurate etiological study, there must be a study that is conducted over “developmental time” and inclusive of “different levels of data” since it is only through this process that a proper understanding can be arrived at (Zucker 1986).
There are, however, still certain researchers who argue that this study was not significant in that it failed to account for certain factors or relationships such as that of antisocial behavior and personality factors which was thought to be underestimated in the study.  This does not detract, however, that the study process used presented an angle that was quantifiable and perhaps accurate of the etiology of alcoholism.
 

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