Adolescent drinking in our intoxicated State


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Dr Bobby Smyth's presentation about current trends in alcohol consumption among young people in Ireland and the impact drinking is having on their mental health. Dr Smyth is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with the HSE, Senior Clinical Lecturer with the Department of Public Health & Primary Care in Trinity College Dublin, and a board member of Alcohol Action Ireland.

This presentation was given at Alcohol Action Ireland's conference, Facing 'The Fear': Alcohol and Mental Health in Ireland, on November 20, 2013.

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Adolescent drinking in our intoxicated State

  1. 1. Facing ‘The Fear’: Alcohol and Mental Health in Ireland This conference is part-funded by the National Office of Suicide Prevention
  2. 2. Adolescent drinking in our Intoxicated State AAI Conference Nov 2013 Dr Bobby Smyth
  3. 3. Overview • Update on some harms • Culture & Language • Influence of adults
  4. 4. Correlation = -0.96 P<0.001
  5. 5. Why worry?
  6. 6. “… in the population aged 25–59 years alcohol is the world’s number one risk factor for impaired health and premature death, and far more significant than unsafe sex, tobacco use or diabetes.”
  7. 7. Teens, Alcohol and Depression
  8. 8. Teens, Alcohol and Anxiety
  9. 9. The Adolescent brain – a work in progress Giedd et al, 1999, Nature Neuroscience, 2, 861-863
  10. 10. Zeigler DW et al (2004) "Underage alcohol is associated with brain damage and neurocognitive deficits, with implication for learning and intellectual development" Casey & Jones (2010) “Many studies have reported altered brain structure and function in alcohol dependent or abusing adolescents…… smaller frontal & hippocampal volumes……suggesting that early adolescence may be a period of heightened risk to alcohol’s neurotoxic effects”
  11. 11. Learning which shoulder to cry on…..
  12. 12. Summarising harms • Damage to brain development • Increased risk of later alcohol & drug problems • Increased risky behaviour -> Accidents • Hampers acquisition of healthy coping skills • Lose ability to “have fun” sober…..
  13. 13. Adolescents and Substance Use: The handbook for professionals working with young people “This highly practical manual presents an ideal introduction to adolescent substance use. It offers invaluable guidance for all professionals involved with adolescents including social workers, health and social care professionals, family support workers, teachers, counsellors, mental health teams, A&E staff, police and probation officers. The approach these practitioners take in dealing with the problem has considerable influence over outcomes”
  14. 14. Irish Adults & Alcohol
  15. 15. all over the shop, annihilated, Backward, Balubas,Banjoed,Battered, bin towed, binted, bladdered, blasted, Blended, BLITZED, Blocked, Blootered, Blotto, Bollixed, BOMBED, Bunkered, Buzzing, Cockeyed, Cut, Drunk, Etched, f*cked, f*cked off yer face, floored, Fluthered, Full, full as a sheugh, fullers, gee-eyed, giddy, giggly, Full goothered, half-cut, HAMMERED, Happy, Hockeyed, in bits, in the horrors, Inebriated, intoxicated, Jarred, Jayrolled, Jiggered, Jolly, Juiced, just nice, Kaned, Lamped, Langered, Langers, Lashed, Legless, light Headed, Like a monkey without a tree, Loaded, Locked, Loo-balled, Lorried, Manky, Mellow, merry, mouldy, Muntered, Newted, Nicely, Obliterated, off the scullion, off my head,off me trolley, on the way, ossified, out of it, Out of your mind, Pajamaed, Pallatic, Paralytic, Phlanxed, Pickled , Piddled, Pished, Pissed, pissed as a fart, Plastered, PLOWED, Plutered, Poleaxed, Polluted, Rat-arsed, Rinsed, Rotten, rubbered, Sauced, Scuttered, Sh1t-faced, Sideways, Sizzled, Slaughtered, SLOSHED, Smashed, Snattered, Snookered, Sozzled, Spiflicated, Squiffy, Steamboats, Steaming, Stewed, Stocious, Stoven, Tanked, Three sheets to the wind, TIDDLEY, Tight , Tinkered, Tipsey, tired and emotional, TOASTED, TRASHED, Trollied, Twatted, Twisted, Under the weather, Under the table, Volcanoes, w*nkered, Wangoed, Wasted, wiped out, Woozy, Wrecked, Writ, Wrote off, Yeltsined, Zonked
  16. 16. Moral language and discourse around alcohol “Drink Responsibly” “Drink Moderately” “Drink Sensibly”
  17. 17. Correlation = -0.96 P<0.001
  18. 18. At what age is that Irish people loose their ability to have the ‘craic’ without alcohol?
  19. 19. van Hout M.C.A. (2009) Rural Remote Health 9: 1171 • Parents underestimate their influence • View drinking as inevitable • Give drink in effort to exert control • Too busy to supervise
  20. 20. Ryan et al, 2010. Systematic Review 1. Parental drinking increases risk 2. Provision of alcohol by parents to their children increases risk 3. Presence of clear rules in the family home reduces risk 4. Parental monitoring of their children’s activities reduces risk 5. Warmth and affection in the relationship between parents and children reduces risk 6. General positive communication between parents and children reduces risk
  21. 21. Mama’s (& Daddy’s) little helper….
  22. 22. “Adult-supervised settings for alcohol use resulted in higher levels of harmful alcohol consequences”
  23. 23. Mediterranean Culture…. • Lost in translation….
  24. 24. Key Messages • Unhealthy drinking is the norm in Ireland • For the first time ever, an Irish government appears willing to name and tackle this • Our generation of adults has permitted alcohol use to move earlier into adolesnce • Early onset drinking is associated with mutliple risks and NO benefits • The more teenagers drink, the more likely they are to experience anxiety and depressive symptoms • Parents are a powerful influence, but often misunderstand what they can do to reduce risk.