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Alcohol and young people, a cocktail at risk

MARTIN BERTRAND / HANS LUCAS

By Sandrine Cabut and Pascale Santi

"Express bitrates" become commonplace among young people, who are not always aware of putting their physical and mental health into play. Faced with the offensive alcoholic to seduce generations Y and Z, prevention is a major issue, stress addictologists.

Series "If we were seen". Brittany, 2015.
Series "If we were seen". Brittany, 2015. MARTIN BERTRAND / HANS LUCAS

"I stopped studying because it was no longer possible to store knowledge while my brain was bathed in alcohol", Dany analysis. It was four years ago, and she had just joined a business school. Now abstinent for five months for alcohol, two for cannabis, this 23-year-old woman testifies to help others. "Alcohol is too accessible for young people, you have to fall in and get by to become aware of the pitfalls", She summarizes.

In adolescence, in the evenings with friends, Dany was always the one who drank more, and faster than the others. But it is after knee surgery that she will "dive". Immobilized in the parental home, a little isolated, with pains against which the doctors had not warned her, she goes from festive alcohol to alcohol medicine. The day she "holds" with cannabis. At night, she gets up to drink. Gradually, its daily consumption reaches impressive levels (four liters of beer, more than vodka, and dozens of joints), it is hardly fed anymore. "My father did not sleep to pick me up, I was in denial"says Dany.

One day, invited to a wedding, she decides to stay sober twenty-four hours to better enjoy the party. She has an epileptic seizure, a complication known at the beginning of weaning, but rare at her age. "It was a signal, I realized that I would not get through without hospitalization," She continues. When he arrived in the addictology department of Paul-Brousse Hospital (AP-HP, Villejuif) a year ago, his physical condition was worrying, with deficits in vitamins, a steatosis liver (fat) in the stomach. ultrasound, cognitive tests (memory …) disturbed. "Big drinks, it makes you stupid. It takes about a year for the brain to function normally, which gives me an objective, smiles Dany, who says he's starting to find " a normal life ".

A severe case, but not exceptional in a reference addictology center like that of Paul-Brousse. "In recent years, I see more and more young polyconsumers, with significant alcohol consumptionsays Geneviève Lafaye, head of the adolescent and young adult addiction unit. We discover a variety of profiles, such as these girls who have eating disorders associated with alcohol problems. "

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