Many teens get booze from parents
jessica.lam | June 26, 2008 at 11:48 amby
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The study also offers a nationwide strategy to limit youth access to alcohol. The study suggests Congress and state legislatures should raise taxes on alcohol, especially beer, to discourage underage drinking. In the report, the Institute of Medicine also recommended more careful advertising of alcohol to prevent children from getting bombarded with pro-drinking messages. The report also recommended focusing on changing the way that society views drinking. One suggestion, Bonnie says, is for the Motion Picture Association of America to consider content about alcohol use when rating films, and assign mature ratings for movies that portray drinking in a favorable light.
Many of the nation's estimated 10.8 million underage drinkers are turning to their parents or other adults for free alcohol. Asked about the source of alcohol, 40 percent they got it from an adult for free over the past month, the survey said. Of those, about one in four said they got it from an unrelated adult, one in 16 got it from a parent or guardian and one in 12 got it from another adult family member.
The assumption by the government (driven by the neo-prohibition madness of groups like MADD) is that any amount of alcohol served to someone under 21 is bad. Talk about idiotic. Just as in other areas of life, parents are invaluable in teaching children the proper roll of alcohol in social situations... essentially... we need more parents to teach their children how to drink. That drinking is not the same as binging. That having a glass of wine, or a couple of beers is perfectly acceptable... and more importantly... enough. The problem is this attitude of depriving anyone under 21 of all contact with alcohol, so that when they finally do get a chance to drink, they tend to go overboard in unsupervised situations. From personal experience (and I was having drinks before I was 13)... if you drink at an early age... by the time you get to college... it's no big deal. In fact, I spent my 21st birthday in a lab instead of a bar. Maybe that says more about me... but I can say that turning 21 didn't feel like a milestone to me, because I'd been drinking before that.
Alcohol is by far the most misused substance in our country. It is abused by adults and misused by youth. Many people think that the legal drinking age of 21 is just an arbitrary age assigned by the government so that there is no harm in consuming alcohol under that age. They could not be more mistaken. Like all drugs, alcohol enters the body’s bloodstream and is carried to all parts of the body. In a teen’s body, which is not fully developed, the alcohol has altering effects on the body chemistry. Teens are already subject to mood swings due to the complex chemical changes associated with puberty. When alcohol is added on top of those chemicals, the teen is at serious risk for: • a surge in “sex” hormones making them more likely to engage in risky sexual activity; • an increase in anxiety and confusion which can be overwhelming for teens already feeling depressed and may lead to suicidal behavior; • more impulsive and irrational behaviors are promoted which may result in driving under the influence or taking dangerous changes with safety; and • an increase in aggressive “acting out” tendencies which could lead to fights or other violent confrontations. Parents who support their child drinking because they are in the home are not doing their child any favors. They are still at risk for the above problems and youth that start drinking under the age of 16 are four times more likely to be adult alcoholics.
Recently the government have released plans to cut down on underage drinking by raising the price of alcohol. The idea is that if the alcohol is too expensive, kids won’t spend their pocket money on it. Is it just me or do they seem to have missed something? Surely if you want to cut down on underage drinking, then you get more tough on under 18’s buying alcohol and on places that sell to under 18’s. If you increase the cost, you’re not targetting young people, you’re targetting poor people! Where has this correlation between age and wealth come from? I know plenty of teens with wealthy parents or with jobs who will still be able to afford to buy alcohol, and I know plenty of people over the age of 18 who can’t afford it as it is (me included)! I think they’re barking well and truely up the wrong tree here, and it’s all down to dodgy logic.
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