Underage drinking can lead to a host of negative consequences, including trouble in relationships, in school, and in social activities. Alcohol is also a leading contributor to fatal injuries, and it plays a roll in risky sexual behaviors. Furthermore, alcohol affects every organ in the body, and excessive consumption is associated with multiple adverse health consequences, including liver disease, various cancers, cardiovascular disease, neurological damage, and mental health disorders. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States, associated with 75,000 deaths per year. This work provides updated information about alcohol and its effects on the body, brain, and behavior, including short term consequences and long term health risks to individual organs and mental well being. It describes the risks and signs of emerging alcohol related problems, offers information about treatments, and describes strategies to prevent teen alcohol abuse. A special section offers facts and encouragement to children of alcoholics and resources to get help with alcoholism.
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