Alcohol Abuse Among Teenagers Essay, Research Paper
ALCOHOL ABUSE AMONG TEENAGERS:
It’s very interesting that I find myself writing about something that not only is commonsense, but what is more, something that every one knows about in general but may not in particular. Alcohol use among teenagers is a serious problem and is responsible for death and injury in automobile accidents, physical and emotional disability, deterioration of academic performances, aggressive behavior that causes a number of other sociological problems in families and among friends. It is also the primary cause of criminal behavior and a leading cause of broken marriages. As we know it’s a broad topic therefore I’ll look at the role that alcohol plays in the society and it’s impact on teenage addiction.
MATTER OF CONCERN (Causes and effects)
The age when young people are taking their first drink is becoming lower each year. Many studies show that preteens are experimenting with alcohol and many are already heavy drinkers (Cahalan 1997). It may be difficult for parents and teachers to believe that a seventh grade student can have an alcohol problem, but a study of student drinking practices shows that 5% of seventh-grade boys and 4.4% of seventh-grade girls are seriously abusing alcohol (Royce 1996). That’s why we see the consequences in terms of antisocial behavior, school failure, attention deficit, learning disabilities and road accidents among the teenagers.
THE MAIN CAUSE ..MEDIA.
Despite the problems caused to young and old by alcohol, society sends mixed signals to its youth. Media presents alcohol drinking with peers as not only acceptable but also to insure friendship and as a romantic beverage. Movies present a realistic picture of alcohol abuse. A report by “scientific analysis corporation” examined drinking practices on television and found that out of 225 programs 701 alcoholic drinking acts were recorded which were against the voluntary code (Jean Lennane,1995) of the liquor industry.
The code states that:
a) Any actor shown drinking must be over the age sixty.
a) Any drinking shown should be natural, sensible and responsible.
a) Ads should not suggest that drinking alcohol contributes toward social, sexual or supporting success or as being a pre-requisite of relaxation.
a) Ads should not challenge or dare people to consume alcohol.
We can see the ads any night and judge rather how many don’t breach the voluntary code.
AVAIBILITY AND ACCEPTABILITY
A leading cause is that alcoholic drinks can be easily obtained and these are socially more acceptable than other drugs. Parents, teenagers and educators often fail to realize the potential for problems that alcohol presents to the immature psyche and body(Kay Healey, 1997). At the time when body and emotions are maturing, frequent or excessive use of alcohol can cause irrapareable damage.
Drinking alcohol is only viewed as an adult behavior in the society. Alcoholic beverages are advertised and marketed as being associated with sexuality and romance, but, infact alcohol is a depressant which decreases overall sexual performance and dulls pleasurable feelings. (Kay Healey,1997)
Parental attitude and behavior regarding alcohol use play important role in how their children view it’s use. Evidence exists that a family history of antisocial and poor
parenting increases the risk of having children who use alcohol and other drugs. The home is the primary source of alcohol for the young adolescent.
Teenagers report that they drink for enjoyment, to forget problems or to reduce stress and anxiety in their lives. Teenagers, however are at increased risk of becoming intoxicated while drinking less than adults because of their limited experience with alcohol and smaller body size. Depressed or those teenagers who have been physically or sexually abused may use alcohol in an attempt to cope with their psychological distress
Inexperienced driving combined with inexperienced drinking is a deadly combination .A report from “National Centre For Health Statistics” shows that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among persons Between 15-23 years of age.
Although they may reserve the right to drive, but, of course no right to put the others in danger while accidents.
Underage drinking has countless effects and therefore, it’s impossible to take all of them into account. Research shows that of those who began drinking at the age of 18,66% subsequently are classified with alcohol dependence and 7.8% with alcohol abuse. If a person waits untill the age of 21 before taking their first drink, these risks decreases by 60%. (Grant 103) Alcohol use can affect teenagers health, family relationships and can also place other members of the society in danger. It has a tendency to lower the productivity and the quality of work being done and can cause problems in both one’s school and career. Economic costs are also an issue when it comes to underage drinking.
IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM:
Identifying the teenager alcohol abuser is difficult but not impossible. Specific behavior and characteristics to watch for to determine if alcohol abuse is occuring include the following;
a) frequent absenteeism.
b) decline in academic performance.
c) lack of interest in extracurricular activities
d) problems with peers
e) self destructive behavior
f) lack of energy
g) lack of concern about personal wellbeing.
h) obvious signs of intoxication
Alcohol abuse among teenagers and even younger children is a rapidly growing social problem. Alcohol is glamorized in movies and television. Beer commercials using sports figures try to convince teenagers. As a society we send mixed signals to our youth about alcohol use, on the one hand we talk about it, joke about it, and treat it as not only acceptable but also desirable. On the other hand we recognize the problems caused by alcohol abuse. Death and injuries in traffic accidents, loss of productivity, child abuse, broken homes and other serious societal problems linked to alcohol.
In my suggestion, an intensive education program supported by the community with qualified persons and also supported by the government in terms of financial support can positively change the attitudes and cause significant change in knowledge about alcohol. Schools can play an important role to initiate education and preventive efforts because they reach more students than any other place. It also involves complete commitment with extensive planning.
+ Grant 1996,adolescent drug abuse, vol 76, pgg 84,85.
+ Cahalan 1997, underage use and abuse of alcohol, pg 87
+ Royce 1996, alcohol,the national hangover, pg 44
+ Jean Lennane 1995, alcohol, pg 56
+ Alcohol, the facts, 1997, Australian government publishing service,pg148
+ Key Healey, 1997,Alcohol, The facts, pg 176
+ Gall T.L., 1996 , Statistics on alcohol use,gale research inc.
+ Alcoholism, 1998,vol 64, Neil kessel and Henry Walton.