It was not always the case that Americans had to be 21 to drink alcohol. In fact, laws setting 21 as the legal drinking age is only a few decades old. A new report indicates making minors wait to drink saves young lives.
Nearly 5,000 Americans under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related causes, yet it’s illegal to sell alcohol to minors. So how do underage kids get alcohol in the first place? Law officials say that in a surprising number of cases an adult supplies the alcohol. One news organization decided to see just how true that assertion was, and what they found was shocking.
The transition from high school to college is a critical time for teenagers forming their long-term patterns of alcohol consumption. Current evidence indicates that parental attitudes play a prominent role in determining whether college students start participating in risky drinking behaviors. However, significant numbers of parents fail to fully recognize the alcohol-related dangers their college-age children face.
For some incoming college freshmen experimenting with alcohol is at the forefront of their minds. Whether it’s the stress of new responsibilities or newfound freedoms, many freshmen engage in risky behaviors related to alcohol. While some may consider this a rite of passage, alcohol consumption is associated with injury, assault or risky sexual behaviors. A new study suggests that interventions, including assessments among all new students to determine alcohol risk, could help freshmen avoid dangerous alcohol-related behaviors.
Even the best kids can make poor decisions based on peer pressure and media influence. The number of teenagers that actually enjoy the taste and complexities of alcohol are exceedingly low – they’re using it to fit in and escape the pressures around them.
There are many things parents do for their teenagers to help them prepare for adulthood, such as setting rules for grades, curfews and getting a job. But sad as it seems, it’s important to educate children about the dangers of addictions, too. And not only that, it’s just as important for parents to educate themselves about the symptoms of addiction so they can better recognize them and get their child help.
The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) reported recently that television programming popular with underage viewers contains too many alcohol-related commercials.
Dementia, which is a grouping of symptoms rather than a disease itself, is devastating for those who develop it and for the loved ones who must watch a person deteriorate as a result. The most common cause of the dementia symptoms is Alzheimer’s disease, but there are many other contributing factors. Recent research has pinpointed yet one more: teenage drinking.
Kids in a group will act more rashly than they would on their own. In fact, adolescents are five times more likely to get in a car wreck, drink alcohol or break the law when surrounded by their peers. A new study shows that those in a group don’t necessarily need to be close or familiar to exert risk-taking influence.
The last week of October was National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. Major news outlets ran stories about college efforts to push back against the trend of increasing underage drinking. One college, Trinity College, received particular attention for its Night Watch program.