Addressing mental health issues in adolescents should be seen as one of the key priorities in public mental health since the specified group can be described as rather vulnerable and, therefore, highly prone to the development of comorbid issues. For instance, social anxiety is quite common in teenagers and, therefore, may not receive enough attention (Savage et al. 467). However, when unattended, it may lead to alcohol abuse. It is hypothesized that social anxiety in adolescents may lead to them developing alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism instead of using healthier ways of handling their social anxieties.
There is substantial evidence that alcohol abuse in adolescents and the presence of social anxieties are closely connected. For instance, in their paper, Blumenthal et al. posit that the development of anxiety in adolescent youth is often paired with the presence of disorders such as substance abuse and insomnia (57). The authors of the article ask the question of whether the presence of insomnia contributes to the development of insomnia and alcohol abuse in adolescents and use quantitative research to prove their point. Published in 2019, the article offers current and accurate results since the choice of the research methods meets the needs set by the authors and allows answering the research hypothesis fully. The choice of the National Comorbidity Survey–Adolescent Supplement as the main tool for aggregating information, in turn, has contributed to eliminating biases from the analysis outcomes. Finally, the article has been recognized by others since it has been cited in several publications. Therefore, the results delivered by the authors allow concluding that social anxiety disorder and alcohol abuse are connected.
Likewise, the research by Savage et al. has shown that the development of social anxiety disorder is related directly to the threat of gaining a substance abuse problem. Namely, the authors of the study sought to examine the associations between substance abuse and social anxiety disorder. In their study, Savage et al. hypothesize that the presence of anxiety may lead to substance abuse in adolescents, including the abuse of alcohol and tobacco (463). The results of the research have proven that, indeed, the propensity toward having social anxiety affects the threat of developing a substance abuse problem in adolescents to a significant extent. The development of a strong methodology is the main strength of the article. Specifically, Savage et al. adopted the Multidimensional Peer Nomination Inventory (MPNI) tool, which had proven to lead to impressive outcomes in the past (Savage et al. 465). However, the threat of subjective responses being integrated into the information received with the help of the said tool represents a minor research bias. The article has been recognized by several authors, which makes its arguments all the stronger.
Allowing locating a possible connection between the social anxiety disorder and the propensity toward substance abuse, both studies have contributed to the analysis of the problem. Thus, the articles have allowed transitioning to the next stage of the research and examining the problem at hand from a different perspective. Overall, the papers by Blumenthal et al. and Savage et al. have expanded the analysis and provided important insights into the issue. Specifically, the analysis of the problem has led to the search of the solutions that could assist adolescents fighting anxiety by seeking alternative ways of coping with it and offering healthier behaviors for the target demographic.
Blumenthal, Heidemarie, et al. “The Links between Social Anxiety Disorder, Insomnia Symptoms, and Alcohol Use Disorders: Findings from a Large Sample of Adolescents in the United States.” Behavior Therapy, vol. 50, no.1, 2019, pp. 50-59.
Savage, Jeanne E., et al. “The Effects of Social Anxiety on Alcohol and Cigarette Use across Adolescence: Results from a Longitudinal Twin Study in Finland.” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 30.4 (2016): 462-474.