Many experts have asked teens directly why they drink regularly. Do you want to know what they have answered?
It was about the weekend. Young people attend class with an effervescence that is not seen on other days of the week. However, although they are not falling asleep in class or showing their boredom with gestures and grimaces of annoyance, they are not concentrating on what the teacher is teaching either. They are euphoric because as soon as the bell rings that announces the end of the school day, they can run to the little carnival of party, music, dating and alcohol (when it does not include other drugs).
I call it: “the religion of Friday.” It would seem that guys can fail any commitment during the week. They may even abandon family, academic or work responsibilities, but the Friday evening ritual cannot be postponed.
Someone could say that there is nothing wrong with all that flow of fun; that it is about young people and that they have the right to have fun. Of course they have the right to have fun, except that alcohol is a drug, it is a crime for it to be consumed by minors, and it generates addiction in young people. Not only that, but teens — and most young adults — don’t know how to limit their alcohol intake. No, you can never speak of mere youthful entertainment.
There is a popular saying that alcohol is a great social lubricant. Those who know about drinks can taste and value the flavor of some preparation or another, making the drink in question a matter of conversation in itself to establish relationships of trust, without touching topics of a too personal nature, such as religion or politics. Other people who drink regularly, do so to accompany their food, as snacks or as digestives that are taken afterwards.
Do our young people do it this way? Apparently not. In Mexico and many Latin American countries, alcoholism in adolescents has been a public health problem for decades. Not only is it the final link in the cause of most road accidents, minor to serious injuries and reckless homicides that occur between Thursday night and early Sunday morning in large cities, but it is also becoming a a phenomenon related to the growing incidence in the young and adult population of illnesses such as diabetes, different types of cancer, cirrhosis and depression, just to put addiction aside, which we have talked about extensively in familia.com.
Can I add a spooky fact? The Central of Alcoholics Anonymous in Mexico City has reported a 30% growth in participants between 12 and 15 years of age in the last three years. Similarly, the participants who are integrated between the ages of 15 and 20 have increased by 35% in the same period. If you find out the data of your locality, you could be surprised in the same way.
Read this article about the phenomenon in Mexico.
Why do they drink?
The varied and numerous studies that have been carried out have included the question asked directly of adolescents and young people who drink regularly, and their responses can be grouped into these main guidelines:
I drink to get drunk
I promise to dedicate an article to elucidate what makes a young person or adolescent seek, on their own initiative, to enter a state of drunkenness, in which a high percentage of the capacity for perception and consciousness is lost. It may be a very difficult reality to accept, but drinking to get drunk is, regardless of age, frankly self-destructive behavior.
I drink to integrate with my friends
And there is the social element. I wish the mechanism was like the one I described above. But it’s not like that. It is a kind of shame, a twisted sense of honor: “If you don’t drink alcohol, then you’re a coward.” It becomes a kind of initiation ritual that attracts the approval of others.
I drink to lose my fear
It is well known that drunkenness includes disinhibition. Unfortunately, “giving yourself courage” is a level often exceeded by recklessness. When you are drunk, you lose the ability to assess dangerous circumstances, such as high speed or the imminence of a fight. The result could be seen in a hospital or in the morgue.
This article weighs the ethical and social reasons why young people are prone to alcoholism.
How does it start? In what places does it occur?
Adolescents begin their relationship with alcoholic beverages under the influence of friends, classmates, etc. And most of the time they drink alcohol they do so in cars, during music festivals and sporting events (yes, even in which they are the athletes).
And what do i do?
It is a fact that you cannot watch them all the time, but you can help them avoid certain circumstances, and you can give them guidance on how to choose their friends and how to make the best decisions. If your child has already started drinking regularly, help him know all the organic, social and psychological effects. Don’t overlook the fact that regular use can lead to addiction, and never stop being vigilant.
I invite you to read: Addiction Help Package