Alcohol Abuse and Young people

  J B 20:19 01 May 2007

Following the debate about the smoking ban and all the issues that rise from it, there seems to be little or very little done about alcohol. In my case it is quite personal but I will be glad to share it if someone asked me to do so. That said there is an article click here that goes some way to explain what is going on in todays society.

There seems to be a modern conception that if you talk about something long enough maybe it will go away, or even better even itself out, or even better the problem will fix itself. Just go out to a town centre or even to the village pub and you will soon see that there is a problem. I can only describe that what is going on now is a straight forward case of Head in the Sand Syndrome, with local and national authorities. What do you think? J.B.

  Jak_1 20:32 01 May 2007

From what I've seen in a big city like Manchester, yes there is alcohol abuse by younger members of society but no more than there was 20 or even 30 years ago. It is more highlighted now with the fly on the wall programs and 18-30 holidays. I think most of older ones will have done much the same in our younger days. Most of it is binge drinking and that is not a new thing. That has been a thing that happened in the Royal Navy for many a year. A ship comes alongside after spending a period at sea and a fair amount of the crew would come back worse for wear!
However having said that, the incidence of liver damage through alcohol in younger people does appear to be on the increase. Now, I don't know whether that is because of the advances of routine blood testing when someone is seen in A&E or it really is an increase.
In years gone by when people were brought into the A&E dept of the Naval hospital during/after a night on the town they were simply patched up and sent on their way. Nowadays they are screened for possible liver damage I think and so the problem is noted much earlier than used to be.

  [email protected] 20:48 01 May 2007

ive definately seen an increase in early teen drinking,wether the stats bear this out doesnt change my observations.
In the last few months as a snapshot
witnessed 13/14 year olds walking along the road swilling from vodka bottles etc 9.30 in the morning

teenagers being carried/dragged drunk out of their minds

empty bottles of vodka at the playground where they congregate not limited to weekends could be any night
(ps i live in a nice area)

The easy access/low price in supermarkets must surely play a part coupled with a distinct lack of parental control

These kids drinking so heavily will be highly addicted before reaching adulthood

Social drinking,experimentation is part of the teenage years but it now seems way out of control

now is definately more worrying than say 20 years ago,i make this comparison based on the community ive lived in for last 25years

Alchohol ruins more lives than Drugs but is so socially intergreted that it will be one hell of a problem to sort out

  Jak_1 20:54 01 May 2007

Education is the key, hitting them with the hard facts and graphic pictures whilst they are still at school, not just one off lessons but a series of lessons throughout the academic year for 14 - 18 year olds. Though that will not stop some from going down the rocky road.
Most people grow out of the binge drinking culture but sadly some are hooked from very early on due to their genetic makeup and go on to become full blown alcoholics.
Raising the age for drinking alcolol will do very little as the kids will always find a way of getting it. That would also only drive it underground, a dangerous route to follow!

  josie mayhem 23:20 01 May 2007

Has anyone noticed that teenage binge drinking has got worse since the change in the liecncing law concerning the onous of prove!

What I mean is that when I was younger if I was caught in the pub drinking under age it was the police who had to prove that the landlord knew that I was under age! So it was very difficult to bring a succesful proscution against a landlord!

But since the mid 80's or there abouts, they changed the law to make it easier for the police to proscute, by making the onus of prove onto the landlord, they now have to prove that they didn't know that the individual was under age!

So teenagers can't do as many of us did, sneak in the pub underage act trying your best not only to look old enough but also act old enough to drink! The landlord would let you get away with it as long as you behaved, if not you were out the door....

But now teenagers have very little chance of getting anywhere near a pub, so there only option is to get some plonk and go down the local park.... The problem with this there is no adults/ landlords to guide/show them social drinking in moderation for enjoyment... They get blind drink with out any leadership.... So by the time that they are 18 and can get into a pub they learn't only one way of drinking and that is to get plastered!

  Forum Editor 23:48 01 May 2007

that local and national authorities have their heads in the sand with regard to alcohol abuse - there has been a great deal of talk about drinking among the young for some time.

The problem with this subject is in separating myth from reality, and one of the myths that needs to be dispelled straight away is that the UK is one of the heaviest-drinking nations in the world. The truth is that we're not. The world's biggest consumers of alcohol are, in order of per capita consumption per annum:

1. Portugal
2. Luxembourg
3. France
4. Hungary
5. Spain
6. Czech Republic
7. Denmark
8. Germany
9. Austria
10. Switzerland

There's evidence to show that as far as the UK is concerned the number of people who exceed the recommended daily consumption of alcohol fell between 2003 and 2005. The proportion of men in Great Britain exceeding the government’s daily sensible drinking benchmarks fell from 39 per cent in 2004 to 35 per cent in 2005. Women are less likely than men to exceed the benchmarks, with 20 per cent of women exceeding the sensible drinking benchmark on at least one day in the previous week in 2005.

There are also signs that the upward trend in heavy drinking among young women may have peaked. The numbers of 16-24 year old women who drank more than six units of alcohol on at least one day a week was 24% in 1998. That rose to 28% in 2002, but by 2005 it had fallen back to 22% - the lowest for three years.

That said, it's true that alcohol-related deaths have risen steadily over the past fourteen years, with men between 55 and 74 leading the field by a long way. The statistics for women show that although far fewer died from alcohol-related causes, the greatest number were aged between 55 and 74. Scotland has a death rate that is almost double that of the rest of the UK.

Nobody is quite sure why, in the face of statistics that show overall alcohol consumption falling, death rates should be increasing. One theory is that it is related to binge drinking by the young, and the figures certainly show an increase in death rates in this group.

You can get all the figures if you click here

  Kate B 23:55 01 May 2007

The amount young people drink scares me. I've done my fair share of boozing but it was never on the scale you see some kids pack it away. I know people worry about illegal drugs, but I still think that drinking is a far worse - and more dangerous - problem. More dangerous because it's so widely available and binge drinking is not only condoned, it's positively encouraged.

You wouldn't dream of going into the office groaning that you'd had no sleep because you'd been up all night doing coke, but to go in groaning about your appalling hangover and your resulting absence of sleep is treated as a joke.

Prohibition doesn't work - it didn't work for alcohol in the US and it doesn't work for other drugs. But that makes education and restricting access much, much more important. Young kids need to be taught about all the intoxicants they're likely to come across, where they stand in law, what the risks are and - importantly - what the fun of them is, so that they can make informed decisions. It's no good just wagging a finger and saying "baaaadddd, don't do it" because that adds the frisson of the forbidden.

If you teach kids clearly that booze is fun, it's a relaxant, it makes you feel chilled and confident, but that it also works more quickly than you think and that it takes a long time to come down off it and can make you feel like rubbish, that's a balanced view for them to assimilate for themselves. Ditto drugs.

Education, education, education. It's the way to prevent tragedies. Leah Betts died not because she took Ecstasy, but because she didn't know that it inhibits your ability to urinate and that if you drink too much, you will die of water poisoning. Ecstasy itself can't kill you, but the effects of it plus other factors can.

  Forum Editor 00:28 02 May 2007

You make an interesting point when you mention the reaction to someone groaning about a hangover.

I gave up alcohol 18 years ago, because i started getting unbelievable headaches, and the fun wasn't worth the price, but when I used to drink, I was always embarrassed about mentioning hangovers, or getting drunk - there was a stigma attached to it. Nowadays I hear younger people talking about getting 'hammered', and discussing their hangovers all the time - there seems to be an acceptance, almost as if it's just one of those things.

  wee eddie 10:49 02 May 2007

I think that your last paragraph but one is very relevant.

Most, but not all, youngsters that I know live quiet and reasonable lives. When asked about such behaviour they will tend to exaggerate their experiences in order to increase their Kudos (Cred!) which has been true for generations. I'll bet that the young Ancient Brits were bragging about the abilities of their new blue Chariot when they had a couple of Meads under their woad.

Of course the Honey-pot Sites get very busy and this frequently becomes out of hand, but I think that the number of youngsters involved is a small part of the whole. Just rather more visible.

  picklsey 11:21 02 May 2007

i didn,t start drinking till i was 19 or 20 there were some i knew who drank under age,the big difference i see now is years ago drinking under age you would hide away doing it ie behind a school or such like because you didn,t want to be seen incase someone told your parents,i know there were some who couldn,t care less and made a nuisence of there self when drunk,but the majority that i knew would sneak in the house and head straight for there they drink in the open cause havoc and in general don,t give a damn who see,s them appart from the police not out of fear of them but because of getting the drink taken from and poured out in front of them.who says so the teenagers i spoke to when they were sober i asked them what if there parents catch them and they just laughed.myself i think it is down to education but you would need to start with the parents,aim adverts and such at them to show them that not giving a damn about there kids that they are slowly killing them.

rant over stage left

  J B 15:50 02 May 2007

I never thought that this subject would generate the amount of interest that it has, having said that you make quite a valid point about the Head in the Sand comment that I made earlier. The local and national authorities are doing what they can but clearly they are coming up short. I think that parents have a vital role to play in all of this by the old fashioned Carrot and Stick approach if you like. Parent power should come back into vogue in such a way as to augment what the authorities are already trying to do. Parents today and I don't mean all of them try, and in some cases actually succeed in shifting the blame for what their children get up to on to authorities for them to deal with. To my way of thinking that is all wrong. I am of the belief that the parents should have total responsibility for their children and should be accountable for their children's actions. I know that sounds like old fashioned thinking, but as the old saying goes "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" comes to mind. If there was more of that there just might be less statistics on this subject, don't you think? J.B.

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