Teen binge drinking is nothing new. But a recent report from BBC made it clearn long term impact of teen drinking habits. The study reported that teen drinkers are more likely to turn alcoholic, use drugs and have criminal conviction by the time they turn 30. Didn’t we all know that intuitively! Now research have proven what we all have always known.
They are 60% more likely to be alcoholic, twice as likely for conviction, 40% more likely to use illegal drugs, 40% more likely to suffer mental health problems and 60% more likely to be homeless. They were also 40% more likely to have suffered accidents, almost four times as likely to have been excluded from school and 30% more likely to have gained no qualifications.
Under age drinking is a problem for parents and teachers as well. Inspite of public awareness campaigns and restriction of sale of alcohol to minors, one can always get it when they want it. There seems to be inbuilt system loopholes. Best way to contain this problem is parental involvement with teens. Parents who can model and educate their teens about long term implications of their life choices.
Parental pressure upon children should be more than peer pressure or pressure from popular culture to conform. External pressure can only go some distance. Unless we create a inner conviction among teens against such behaviors, parents and youth workers are up against a nearly impossible task. Unless there is inner power to say no to tempations, they stand no chance to get over them. They are bound to fail.
Prevention is better than Cure!