It is now an established fact that for many high school students, by the time they get to their senior years they would have tried consuming alcohol. Many may be lucky enough to exert some control and drink moderately, but the large majority of high school students are unable to lure off alcohol resulting either in them drinking frequently or in large quantities.
Teenage Alcohol Abuse Larger than you Think
In a recent study conducted by the Drug Policy Research Center, researchers found that because of the pervasive nature of high school drinkers, many were flying under the radar and the issue of alcohol abuse among high school students is much larger than previously imagined. The report also confirmed the link between high school student alcohol consumption and antisocial behavior, poor school performance and elevated dropout rates. As a result, they have recommended a rehabilitation program that not only focuses on prevention of initiation but also on the prevention of misuse.
Startling Fact about High School Alcohol Abuse
- One in every six seniors and high school dropout had a high school history of drinking at least one alcoholic drink per day.
- Most high school alcohol abusers report a history of missing school or feeling sick after consumption due to been drunk or were arrested for drunk driving.
- One in six high school alcohol consumers go on to abuse other intoxicants and drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth, speed, or heroin.
Also of great concern are the high cases of high-risk sex, violent behavior, car accidents, and emotional problems that are a direct result of alcohol abuse among high school students.
Playing with Numbers
Over the years, politicians have manipulated the numbers associated with teenage alcohol abuse to suit their political point of views. As a result, many of the initiatives suggested to address alcohol abuse among high school students have never been taken too seriously. In order to gain a foot hold to reduce alcohol abuse among high school students, parents and politicians must be prepared to roll up their sleeves and address the social lives of these teenagers.
Studies show that the main driving force behind alcohol abuse is the type of social activity parents allow their high school students to be exposed to. The study revealed that alcohol abuse among teenagers was more directly associated with dating, partying, and poor parenting examples, as opposed to being poor, runaway child or theft. A recent report in the USA Today spoke of a snap test of high school students at a football game- a move that caught many of the students off guard. It revealed that most were drunk or way above the allowed BAC level to safely operate a motor vehicle.
How to Stop High School Alcohol Abuse
If the society is serious about curving the scourge of alcohol abuse among high school students, they simply have to implement some of the many existing laws that were drafted to address this issue. Some of these steps include:
- Storekeepers must stop selling alcohol to students under 18 years old.
- Any suspected under age drinker must present identification on request before they are able to purchase alcohol.
- Enforce the age restrictions on club entry for students under 18.
- Establish a two pronged approach that deals with both prevention and control that will eliminate binge drinking, drinking while driving, and extended use of alcohol.
- Address the social issues that drive high school students to drink.
- Be an exemplary parent. Do not consume alcohol in front of your children.
- Lock away the liquor in the house out of the reach of you teenage children
- Implement use of breathalyzer test for high students entering and leaving parties and on school premises.