The number of teens involved in the excessive consumption of alcohol is growing. Another tragic statistical fact is that kids as young as 12 years old are already learning to drink alcohol as if it was just soda.
Parents are already alarmed with the rampant case of teenage alcoholism. Although the media and celebrities can be partly blamed for the popularity of teen alcoholism (take the cases of Drinking master), a lot of other factors can also be considered as to why teen alcoholism has become a societal disease.
One of the most common lines that teenagers say is “but everybody’s doing it!” Parents hear those words every so often and teenagers frequently blurt it out of their mouth as if they were just saying “yeah” or “okay”. The need to belong and to be accepted is a really important need that simply cannot be ignored by teenagers. Their need to belong to a certain group or be accepted by their friends and classmates is a need that they must fulfill – even if it takes doing some
things that are already way out of line.
Another factor that leads teenagers to alcoholism is their curiosity. Perhaps their first intake of alcohol is just to satisfy their curiosity. The sad thing is that alcohol can be addictive and if teenagers get hooked, it’s as if there’s no stopping them.
Teenage social life is usually composed of house parties, dates, beach parties, sleepovers, etc. The social life of teenagers provides numerous opportunities for alcoholic drinks to be served. House parties are especially dangerous, especially if there’s no adult or parent around to supervise and monitor (which is mostly the case nowadays since most teenagers would demand that their parents get out of the scene when they are hosting a party).
Some teenagers also have their first glass or bottle of alcohol as a result of peer pressure. Since they don’t want to be called a “kill joy” or a “goody two shoes,” most teens do succumb to the offers of their friends to drink or taste alcohol.
Troubled teenagers also use alcohol as a way to forget their troubles and emotional anguish in life. Although drinking alcohol may be a somewhat better escape than committing suicide, in the long run, too much intake of alcohol can be detrimental to health, too! Let’s just say that teenagers who are depending on alcohol intake as their escape to their worldly problems are “killing themselves softly.”
Perhaps one of the reasons why alcoholism is very rampant among teenagers is because of the fact that it is very easy for an underage teen to purchase alcohol. Although it is imposed in most of the laws all over the world that teens under the age of 18 years old are not allowed to purchase alcoholic drinks, many teens still get away with it. Some clerks and salesmen are too lazy or too lenient to care if the teen is the proper age or not.
To avoid teenage alcoholism, parents, teachers and the government must go hand in hand in trying to provide “cool” and healthy distractions for teenagers so that they will not fall into the tempting traps of alcoholic substances. One widely used “healthy distraction” is sports. Local community groups as well as academic institutions are great ways to entice teenagers to become busy and active in healthy and productive physical activities.
Teenagers must be given opportunities to express themselves and cultivate their hidden talents so that they can realize that there are more exciting ways to spend their life rather than waste it on life-threatening drinking sprees.
Parents and teachers should be ambassadors in making teenagers realize that the fun and excitement they get from drinking alcoholic drinks is only superficial and short-term; they must emphasize that there is more to life than trying to belong. It is better to belong through a healthy and productive way rather than through hazardous and self-destructive ways.
Source: Adam Rise