El alcohol y su hijo: lo que los padres deben saber: (Alcohol and Your Child: What Parents Need to Know)
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No Alt TextUna de las drogas consumidas en mayor exceso en los Estados Unidos es el alcohol. El alcohol es, además, una droga que muchas personas comienzan a usar a una edad muy temprana. Aunque es ilegal que los menores de 21 años tomen bebidas alcohólicas, muchos niños se inician en el alcohol bastante antes de llegar a esa edad. Cuanto antes empiezan a consumir alcohol, más alto es el riesgo de tener problemas con la bebida más adelante en la vida. Aquí le presentamos información de American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) para ayudar a los padres a comprender los peligros del alcohol y cómo prevenir su consumo. 

Por qué deben preocuparse los padres

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    Entre el 36 % y el 50 % de los estudiantes de la escuela secundaria beben alcohol, y entre el 28 % y el 60 % dice que lo hace en exceso.
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    En 2014, la mitad de los estudiantes de 12.º grado y uno de cada nueve estudiantes de 8.º grado manifestaron haber estado borrachos al menos una vez en su vida.
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    Más de 4300 jóvenes menores de 21 años mueren por año como resultado del consumo de alcohol por parte de menores de edad.
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    El riesgo de desarrollar un trastorno por el consumo de alcohol es 4 veces mayor en los adolescentes que comienzan a beber antes de los 15 años de edad que en aquellos que comienzan a hacerlo después de los 20 años.
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    El 80 % de los adolescentes dice que sus padres son quienes más influyen en su decisión de beber o no.
A menudo, el alcohol es la primera droga que los jóvenes prueban. Como el alcohol es legal para las personas mayores de 21 años y se encuentra en la mayoría de los hogares estadounidenses, que los niños estén cerca del alcohol y su consumo suele ser bastante común. Algunos padres quizás se sientan aliviados cuando averiguan que su hijo adolescente “solo” bebe alcohol. Incluso pueden creer que no es peligroso. ¡No es verdad! El alcohol puede dañar el crecimiento y el desarrollo cerebral normal de su hijo. Además, si los jóvenes disfrutan la sensación que obtienen del alcohol, quizás se despierte en ellos el interés de probar también otras drogas. 

Riesgos relacionados con el consumo de alcohol

Aunque una persona beba alcohol solo ocasionalmente, esto puede influir en una variedad de comportamientos riesgosos. Simplemente un trago puede afectar la capacidad para tomar decisiones y disminuir la velocidad del tiempo de reacción. El consumo de alcohol por parte de menores de edad no es legal y además está relacionado con: 
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    La actividad sexual temprana, relaciones sexuales con más de una pareja, un embarazo no deseado e infecciones de transmisión sexual, incluido el SIDA.
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    La conducción de automóviles bajo la influencia del alcohol. Entre los jóvenes de 15 y 20 años, el alcohol está presente en casi un tercio de todos los accidentes automovilísticos con víctimas fatales.
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    El consumo de otras drogas, tales como marihuana o cocaína.
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    Preocupaciones sobre la salud como el retraso del crecimiento del cerebro, daño hepático (en el hígado), desequilibrios hormonales y adicción al alcohol.
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    Problemas escolares, tales como malas calificaciones y deserción.
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    Lesiones que pueden ser mortales o causar problemas a largo plazo.
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    Delitos, violencia y preocupaciones por la seguridad.

Por qué beben los jóvenes

A continuación presentamos algunos de los motivos por los cuales beben los jóvenes.  
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    Por curiosidad. Han oído que emborracharse es divertido y quieren averiguarlo personalmente.
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    Como parte de un rito que representa el paso de una etapa a otra. Consideran la bebida como “algo que todo el mundo hace camino a la adultez”.
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    Para emborracharse. Esto explica por qué los adolescentes beben hasta estar fuera de control. El consumo excesivo de alcohol (beber al menos entre 4 y 5 tragos en 2 horas) es habitual y alarmante.
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    Para “encajar” con los amigos que beben.
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    Para sentirse relajados y más seguros.
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    Para escaparse de los problemas, como sentimientos de depresión, conflictos familiares, dificultades en la escuela o con el novio o la novia.

Etapas en el consumo de alcohol

Existe el mismo patrón de consumo para el alcohol que para otras drogas, tales como la marihuana o la cocaína. La siguiente tabla muestra cómo los expertos explican las etapas del consumo de alcohol. Tenga en cuenta que, incluso si su hijo no cumple con los criterios del trastorno por consumo de sustancias (substance use disorder, SUD), todo consumo de alcohol por parte de menores de edad es riesgoso. Por ejemplo, el consumo excesivo de alcohol, en cualquier etapa de consumo, es muy peligroso y no debe aprobarse. 

¿Cómo puedo saber si mi hijo bebe alcohol?

Determinados síntomas y comportamientos son signos de advertencia del consumo de alcohol. Intente detectar: 
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    Olor a alcohol en el aliento o la ropa de su hijo.
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    Alcohol en la habitación o la mochila de su hijo.
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    Embriaguez, mareos o comportamiento extraño evidentes.
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    Cambios en la vestimenta y el arreglo personal.
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    Cambios en la elección de amigos, consumo de alcohol por parte de los amigos de su hijo.
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    Discusiones frecuentes, cambios repentinos en el estado de ánimo y acciones violentas injustificadas.
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    Cambios en los patrones de alimentación y sueño.
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    Pérdida de interés en las actividades.
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    Problemas escolares, como calificaciones más bajas o reprobaciones, mucha inasistencia y problemas disciplinarios recientes.
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    Escape y comportamiento delictivo.
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    Comentarios sobre la depresión o el suicidio, intentos de suicidio.
EtapaDescripción
AbstinenciaMomento antes de que una persona haya consumido alcohol por primera vez, excepto unos pequeños sorbos.
Consumo de la sustancia sin un trastornoConsumo muy limitado que no corresponde a la definición de un SUD. Todos los problemas más comunes relacionados con el consumo de sustancias por parte de los adolescentes (accidentes automovilísticos, lesiones involuntarias, trauma sexual) pueden ocurrir con el consumo limitado en los adolescentes sin que haya un trastorno del consumo de alcohol.
SUD de leve a moderadoConsumo en situaciones de alto riesgo, como cuando se conduce un automóvil o cuando se está en compañía de desconocidos. Consumo relacionado con un problema tal como una pelea, un arresto o la suspensión de la escuela. Consumo para enfrentar dificultades emocionales, como para aliviar el estrés o la depresión. Se define que cumple con entre 2 y 5 de los 11 criterios para un SUD del DSM-5.*
SUD gravePérdida de control o consumo compulsivo de drogas relacionados con cambios neurológicos en el sistema de recompensas del cerebro. Se define que cumple con 6 o más de los 11 criterios para un SUD del DSM-5.*

Cómo prevenir el consumo de alcohol

A continuación enumeramos algunas maneras en que los padres pueden ayudar a sus hijos a oponerse al consumo de alcohol. 
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    Refuerce la confianza y la autoestima elogiando a su hijo a menudo por lo que hace bien. Evite la crítica constante.
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    Escuche lo que dice su hijo. Préstele atención y escúchelo con mucha atención. Ayúdelo durante los períodos de soledad o duda.
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    Esté familiarizado con este tema y corrija cualquier creencia errónea que su hijo pueda tener, tal como “todo el mundo toma”.
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    Sepa quiénes son los amigos de su hijo y establezca límites claros. No apoye amistades con otros jóvenes cuyos padres no establezcan límites similares. Los amigos verdaderos no obligan a sus amigos a violar las normas, como beber alcohol, ni los rechazan si no lo hacen. Insista en que haya uno de los padres presente en toda fiesta a la que asista su hijo. No permita que su hijo adolescente vaya a fiestas donde se sirve alcohol.
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    Haga promesas. Hágale prometer a su hijo que nunca se subirá a un automóvil cuyo conductor haya estado bebiendo. Usted debe prometerle a su hijo que siempre estará dispuesto a buscarlo, sin hacer preguntas, cuando sea necesario que lo lleve a su casa de manera segura. Prométanse mutuamente que hablarán del tema al día siguiente.
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    Ayude a su hijo a manejar las emociones. Cuéntele que las emociones fuertes son normales. Su hijo puede expresar emociones fuertes de maneras saludables. Hable sobre las preocupaciones y los problemas. Convenza a su hijo de que todo tiene un lado positivo y que las cosas no están “mal” para siempre. Sea un buen ejemplo en las maneras en que expresa, controla o alivia el estrés, el dolor o la tensión.
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    Hable de las cosas que pueden tentar a su hijo y de aquellas que son importantes para él o ella. Hable sobre la escuela y la necesidad de su hijo de ser aceptado por sus pares y el grupo. Analice cuáles son las metas y los deseos en la vida. Hable sobre el riesgo de consumir alcohol y drogas, y cómo esto podría impedir que se alcancen esas metas. Enséñele a su hijo exactamente cómo usted espera que responda si alguien le ofrece alcohol.
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    Aliente maneras saludables de divertirse. Todas las actividades familiares, los deportes, las actividades físicas, los intereses en las artes y los pasatiempos pueden ser formas positivas de uso del tiempo libre.
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    Use momentos propicios para enseñar. Converse sobre las tragedias que se originan a partir del consumo de alcohol, que aparecen en las noticias. Pregúntele a su hijo qué piensa que sucedió en la historia y cómo se podría haber evitado la tragedia.
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    Júntese con su hijo para aprender todo lo que pueda sobre la prevención del consumo de alcohol. Los programas ofrecidos en las escuelas, los templos y los grupos de jóvenes pueden ayudarles a ambos a aprender más sobre el consumo de alcohol.
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    El médico de su hijo comprende que una buena comunicación entre los padres y los hijos es una de las mejores maneras de prevenir el consumo de alcohol. Si hablar con su hijo sobre el alcohol resulta difícil, es posible que el médico de su hijo pueda ayudarle a abrir el canal de comunicación. Si sospecha que su hijo está consumiendo alcohol o cualquier otra droga, pídale asesoramiento y ayuda al médico de su hijo.
El alcohol y los medios de comunicación
 

Independientemente de la frecuencia con que escuchen cuán peligroso es beber alcohol, hoy en día muchos jóvenes igual piensan que "está bueno" hacerlo. Esto se debe en gran parte a los medios de comunicación. Las compañías de alcohol gastan miles de millones de dólares por año para promocionar sus productos en la televisión, el cine, las revistas, carteles y eventos deportivos. De hecho, los productos con alcohol se encuentran entre los más publicitados del país.

 

Las publicidades de alcohol nunca mencionan los peligros, tales como el alcoholismo y la conducción bajo la influencia del alcohol, o cómo afecta a un bebé por nacer (síndrome de alcohol fetal). La mayoría de las publicidades muestran a las personas que beben como saludables, enérgicas, atractivas y exitosas. Las publicidades intentan aumentar las ventas de un producto; entonces, hacen que este producto, el alcohol, se vea lo más atractivo posible.

 

A continuación presentamos consejos sobre cómo los padres pueden abordar temas relacionados con el alcohol y los medios de comunicación.

 
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    Hable con sus hijos sobre las publicidades. Ayúdeles a comprender los argumentos de venta: los mensajes reales de estas publicidades.
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    Enséñeles a sus hijos a ser consumidores precavidos y a no creer todo lo que ven y escuchan en televisión.
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    Asegúrese de que los programas de televisión y las películas que miran sus hijos no muestren el consumo de alcohol como algo "que está bueno" o glamoroso.
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    No permita que sus hijos usen camisetas, chaquetas o gorras que promocionen productos con alcohol.
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    Hable con los directivos de la escuela de sus hijos para que implementen un programa de educación en los medios de comunicación.
Los padres que beben alcohol
 

Los padres que beben alcohol deben ser cautelosos con cómo y cuándo se consumen las bebidas alcohólicas en el hogar. Por ejemplo, tomarse un trago nunca debe ser considerado como una manera de lidiar con los problemas. No beba en condiciones inseguras: antes o mientras conduce un automóvil, mientras corta el césped, navega, etc. No aliente a su hijo para que beba o para que comparta un trago con usted. Los padres que tienen problemas con la bebida o que consumen alcohol con frecuencia y en grandes cantidades aumentan, sin quererlo, el riesgo de dependencia al alcohol de sus hijos. Los estudios muestran que el alcoholismo está en los genes familiares, de manera que es más probable que los hijos de padres alcohólicos se vuelvan alcohólicos.

La confidencialidad de los adolescentes
 

Todos los adolescentes deberían someterse a un análisis de detección de consumo de alcohol y otras drogas como parte de la asistencia médica de rutina. El médico de su hijo probablemente desee hablar con su hijo sobre el alcohol en privado para obtener respuestas honestas. Si su hijo dice que consume alcohol, el médico determinará si este necesita asesoramiento muy breve, una nueva visita o una derivación a un especialista. Cada médico tiene su propia política sobre qué información debe compartir con los padres y qué información debe ser confidencial (entre el paciente y el médico), pero la mayoría de los médicos protegerá la privacidad del adolescente si cree que su consumo de drogas no es un riesgo de seguridad inmediato para él u otras personas. Es importante que usted respete las decisiones del médico sobre la confidencialidad para propiciar una charla abierta y honesta entre su hijo y el médico.

Las personas cuyas fotografías se incluyen en esta publicación son modelos profesionales. No tienen ninguna relación con los temas presentados. Todos los personajes representados son ficticios.

La información incluida en esta publicación no debe usarse como reemplazo de la atención médica y los consejos de su pediatra. Es posible que haya variaciones en el tratamiento que su pediatra pueda recomendar de acuerdo a hechos y circunstancias individuales.

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(c) IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AAP OR ITS PROVIDERS BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTY FOR ANY ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES ARISING FROM INDEPENDENT APPLICATION OF THE CONTENT OF THE MATERIALS TO PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES NOR FOR YOUR OR YOUR USERS’ RELIANCE ON THE WEBSITE OR MATERIALS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

(d) EXCEPT FOR CLAIMS BROUGHT PURSUANT TO SECTION 10(a), THE AAP’S AND ITS PROVIDERS’ LIABILITY (WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY IN TORT OR BY STATUTE OR OTHERWISE) TO YOU OR TO ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY AND ALL CLAIMS RELATED TO OR ARISING OUT OF THIS AGREEMENT OR THE MATERIALS, SHALL NOT IN THE AGGREGATE EXCEED THE FEES PAID BY YOU HEREUNDER IN THE TWELVE (12) MONTHS PRIOR TO THE OCCURRENCE GIVING RISE TO THE CLAIM.

(e) Except as to those matters for which the AAP is obligated to indemnify you under Section 10(a), you agree to indemnify, defend and hold the AAP and its Providers and agents harmless from and against any loss, damage, costs, liability and expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) arising out of your or your Users’ use of the Materials, including any claim or legal action taken against the AAP or its Providers or agents related to or in any way connected with (i) any use of the Materials by Users or (ii) any failure by you to perform your obligations in relation to this Agreement.

(f) Certain portions of the Website or Materials may contain information or content provided by Mead Johnson & Company for use in connection with the Website as a sponsor of the Website (“Mead Johnson Content”). With the sole exception of Mead Johnson Content, Mead Johnson & Company is not the author of, nor responsible for, the content of the Website or Materials. You agree that Mead Johnson & Company’s liability and obligations are limited as a Provider in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, including Sections 9 and 10 herein.

(g) Certain portions of the Website or Materials may contain medical reference information or database content provided by Lexi-Comp, Inc. for use in connection with the Website (“Lexi-Comp Content”). You agree that Lexi-Comp, Inc.’s liability and obligations are limited as a Provider in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, including Sections 9 and 10 herein. The Lexi-Comp Content is intended to serve the user as a rapidly accessible, concise initial reference resource and not as a complete reference resource. It does not include information concerning every therapeutic agent, laboratory or diagnostic test or procedure available. The Lexi-Comp Content is clinically oriented and is intended to be used only by Users who are: (1) researchers who will not use the information for medical diagnosis or treatment, and (2) physicians and other competent healthcare professionals who will rely on their own discretion and judgment in medical diagnosis and treatment. Neither the AAP nor its Providers directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services and, as such, assume no liability for data contained in the Lexi-Comp Content. You and your Users assume full responsibility for the appropriate use of medical information contained in the Lexi-Comp Content, and you agree to hold the AAP and its Providers harmless from any and all claims or actions arising from your or your Users’ use of the Lexi-Comp Content.

11. General .

(a) Force Majeure. Except for your obligations hereunder to pay the AAP, neither party shall be responsible for delays or failures in performance resulting from acts or circumstances beyond the control of such party, including, without limitation, acts of God, strikes or other labor disputes, riots, acts of war, malfunction of portions of the Internet or another third party network, governmental regulations promulgated after the effective date of this Agreement, communication line failures, power failures, equipment failures, fires or other disasters, and acts of third parties including hackers and crackers.

(b) Changes to this Agreement. The AAP reserves the right to change or modify this Agreement at any time by presenting you with a new set of terms before you access the Materials. Following your agreement to such modified Agreement, this Agreement shall be of no further effect and the modified agreement shall control. In the event you refuse to agree to any such new agreement, the AAP will, if requested, refund any unearned portion of your subscription fee.

(c) Political Activities. The AAP is a Section 501(c)(3), not-for-profit corporation, and as such, does not participate in any political activities. You are prohibited from participating in political activities while using the Materials or the Website.

(d) Governing Laws and Venue. This Agreement will be governed by the laws of the State of Illinois applicable to contracts made and to be performed in that state. The parties hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal and state courts located in Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A. to resolve disputes related to this Agreement or the Materials.

(e) Waiver and Severability. A waiver of any breach or default under this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any other right arising out of any subsequent breach or default. Either party's failure to enforce any term of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any rights to enforce subsequent breaches. If any term of this Agreement is held to be invalid, the parties agree that such invalidity will not affect the remaining terms.

(f) Notice. Any notice required under this Agreement shall be in writing and sent to the other party’s address shown on the Website or provided during enrollment, or such other address as may be provided by each party from time-to-time. Notices shall be effective when received.

(g) Assignment. Neither party may assign this Agreement to any third party without the prior written consent of the other party.

(h) Entire Agreement. This Agreement and any attachments represent the entire agreement between the parties and supersede any previous contemporaneous oral or written agreements, commitments, representations or communications regarding the subject matter of this Agreement. Any modification to this Agreement must be in writing and signed by a duly authorized agent of both parties. Signed facsimile copies of this Agreement, and attachments will legally bind the parties to the same extent as original documents.

(i) Privacy and Compliance with Law. Each party shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations in exercising its rights and performing its obligations hereunder. Collection and use of personal information in connection with the Website is subject to the AAP’s privacy policy posted on such Website. Despite any representations concerning privacy, the AAP reserves the right to disclose without notice to you any information in our possession if required to do so by law or upon a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with the law, to protect or defend our rights or property, or to respond to an emergency situation.

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