Underage drinking is no new problem. Teens particularly are prone to experimentations and there is tremendous peer and media influence upon them to ‘check out’ alcoholic drinks, making the problem worse for todays teen than ever before.
Many consider drinking as a rite of passage into adulthood. To be accepted by their peer group, to show off that they have grown up now and super bowl ads make it look cool. Many have seen their immigrant fathers and unlces drink, making it look alright and acceptable. The double standard (parents can drink, but children should not) is dangerous as well.
But research shows that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems later in life. New research also indicates that alcohol may harm the developing adolescent brain.
Of the 11 million underage drinkers in America, nearly 7.2 million are considered binge drinkers. That means they typically have more than five drinks on occasion. Alcohol remains the most heavily abused substance by America’s youth.
We must try to change the culture and attitudes toward drinking among our young people. We can no longer ignore what alcohol is doing to our children and another generation of addicts. We must educated them of the dangerous, set right models before them and provide help for those who are caught up in it. Look here for resource: STOP, US Surgeon General, DARE etc.
There may be peer pressure, media influences and tendency to experiment, but ultimately the decision to drink is up to the individuals. They may not be able to forsee its consequences and are driven by its immediate pleasure. But if they’re make poor choices, they have to take the blame as well.