Alcohol is the number one drug problem among America’s youth. More senior high school students use alcohol than any other psychoactive drug. Family doctors, pediatricians, schoolteachers, and parents know that alcohol is overwhelmingly the drug of choice among today’s youth, although trendier substances such as cocaine are often given more attention in the headlines (Carla Felsted, p. vii). Furthermore, it is widely acknowledged that drinking alcohol is a part of the youth culture in America; it may also be understood as a culturally conditioned and socially controlled behavior.
In my generation drinking among underage kids is blamed on peers, accessibility, and adulthood. “Research shows that about 10 million Americans between ages 12 to 20 years had at least one drink last month” (April is Alcohol Awareness Month). Like all addictions, alcohol must first be experimented with. When a kid tries alcohol for the first time s/he will either like it and do it again, or not like it and not try it for a long time. Today’s youth have far more confusing and complex issues to deal with than those youth of earlier generations. Maxwell states that as teenagers engage in the process of trying out new behaviors and values to see what feels right, they must make decisions regarding the use of alcohol and drugs-decisions that often bear serious consequences.
“The teenage years can be turbulent, but many of the problems teens face seem to go away as they grow older and enter the adult world. If an adolescent is drinking heavily, there’s a good chance that this behavior will continue beyond the teen years and into adulthood” (Roxanne Nelson). If a teen’s drinking problem goes unnoticed and is not dealt with, there is a chance the...
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Nelson, Roxanne. “Heavy Teenage Drinkers Can Become Heavy Adult Drinkers”. http://my.webmd.com/content/article/1728.70332 (10 April 2014)
“Putting the Research into Practice”. http://www.miph.org/area/ft17.html (12 April 2014)
Rubin, Sabrina. “Binge Drinking, a Campus Killer”. http://www.readersdigest.com/rdmagazine/specfeat/archives/bingedrinking.htm (6 April 2014)
Shepard, Elizabeth. “America’s No. 1 Youth Drug Problem… Alcohol”. http://www.madd.org/driven/fall00/cover.shtml (14 April 2014)
Wechsler, Henry, George Dowdall, Andrea Davenport and William DeJong. “Binge Drinking on Campus”. http://www.edc.org/hec/pubs/binge.htm (14 April 2014)
Wilson, Ellen and Dionne Dougall. “National College Alcohol Study Examines Drinking of Students at Colleges That Ban Alcohol”. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/alcohol/pr04122001.shtml (14 April 2014)