Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is when anyone under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 drinks alcohol.Underage drinking is a risk that attracts many developing adolescents and teens.Underage drinking is a risk that attracts many developing adolescents and teens. When young people try

Raising awareness among students about the adverse effects of drinking

Alcohol abuse is on the rise across all ages globally. It has the potential to manifest problems aplenty by adversely affecting physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of individuals. The younger generation is more susceptible to falling prey to this ever increasing alcohol-culture.

How alcohol can adversely affect the lives of those afflicted by its addiction is a grave issue. It needs to be addressed and taught to the youngsters who are more prone to experiment and likely to abuse it as substance, without knowing the degree of the damage it can cause.

“The only thing that is constant is change”, said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus and we couldn’t agree more.We live in the times where social media posts spread like wildfire, they influence the young and the old alike. We cannot deny the power of social media to set trends –both, positive and negative. Being on various social media platforms is essentially the‘in-thing’and the pressure to keep up with the ‘happening party or alcohol culture’ willfully tags along. To say, that the increased exposure to social media and the rise of pub-culture is directly proportional to increased alcohol consumption wouldn’t be fair. However, the overbearing struggle to create a ‘cool image’ and the peer pressure impacts the impressionable minds of the young and the restless.We need to sensitize our approach towards the fragile and highly impressionable minds which are already high on hormonal kick.Keeping up with the changing times, short films and social media as a tool can be utilized to promote awareness about alcohol addiction and its vices besides many other social causes.

Along with sex education, adequate measures should be taken to initiate programs in schools and colleges for the youngsters to raise awareness about harmful effects of alcohol and other substance abuse. Effective and timely measures can prevent early addiction and dependency on alcohol. It begins with harmless intention of experimentation but it can potentially turn out to be an experiment gone horribly wrong.

As it goes,parents are the first teachers and home is the first school where a child learns about behavioural patterns and inculcates those as habits.Hence, the responsibility also lies with the parents to avoid drinking when their kids are around. This conscious step in turn preventsindirectly exposing the kids to alcohol. A point worth remembering for both, parents and teachers is the need to keep the communication channel with kids-students open. In other words, they should be easily approachable to youngsters for any advice and assistance needed without the fear of being reprimanded.

With increased awareness, the youngsters are less likely to fall prey to the vices of alcohol addiction at a tender age. To have a fragile sapling grow into a healthy plant or a tree, we need to nurture it wholeheartedly. It thus becomes a collective responsibility of the society.Taking these carefully measured baby steps leads to a brighter future for these young minds.

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Teenage Binge Drinking – A Devil in Disguise

We won’t stop drinking till we see the sun! Its his 18th birthday, drink up! One last shot! All these phrases have become far too common these days and there are good reasons why. Teenagers across the world are flocking towards bars and drinking joints left, right and centre. It’s the new ‘cool’ per se as per their immature lingo.

And yes, we’re talking about teenage binge drinking if you were still wondering.

What is binge drinking you ask?

Binge drinking is the state wherein an individual drinks a substantial amount of alcohol in a short period of time as if there’s no tomorrow. Capiche? It often involves mixing of different types of alcohol which is harmful in ways more than one.

Binge Drinking – A Normalcy in Teenagers

When was the last time you promised yourself that you won’t drink beyond 2 pegs, but ended up maxed out on your friend’s sofa? This is what binge drinking does to you. In today’s party and social media savvy age, binge drinking has become a norm for adolescents and teenagers; so much so that even school kids have become a part of this.

Whether it is a ‘turning 18’ birthday party of a friend’s sister’s wedding or an end-of-exam celebration or India winning the World Cup; the pressure to drink is immense. Most teenagers run on impulses which inhibits their reasoning and practicality. Whatever resistance remains is taken care of by peer pressure. Today, you won’t find a teenager who isn’t into any form of intoxication; this is what it has come down to.

Binge Drinking After Effects

Not just illegal, but by indulging in binge drinking, teenagers are not only putting their lives under peril but risking the life of others as well. Since the amount of intoxication reaches astronomical levels, there is no semblance of control whatsoever. This is where their ‘high’ self takes over and decision making moves out of the picture. Period!

Some proven after effects:

Vomiting – Vomiting is one of the most common after effects of binge drinking. In hindsight, it is good for you as it removes the alcohol content from your body quickly.

Brain Damage – Yes! You read that right. Binge drinking might cause temporary or permanent brain damage in some cases. How alcohol works is that it kills brain cells irrespective of the intake. In general cases, those cells regenerate quickly; however, binge drinking heavy amounts might slow the regeneration process causing irreparable brain damage.

Anxiety and Depression – Since cognitive thinking and reasoning is nowhere to be seen once you’re high, binge drinking can trigger cases of anxiety and depression.

Alcohol Poisoning – Since a teenage body is not fully developed physically, there’s only so much it can take. Massive amount of alcohol being taken in fairly quick time increases the chances of alcohol poisoning. This is a serious ailment which might take weeks for proper recovery depending on the severity of the condition.

Memory Loss – Again, since the brain cells might get permanently or temporarily damaged, the individual might suffer from memory loss. And we’re not just talking about not remembering what happened last night; but about memories of the past.

Saying ‘No’ Isn’t Half Bad After All

If you’re wondering what to do if you’re out in public and want to avoid binge drinking; here’s what you can do:

  1. Know when you’ve crossed your limit.
  2. Don’t be too wary about what others might think.
  3. Pre-define your alcohol intake and stick to it.
  4. If you’re worried about being labelled a ‘spoil-sport’, you can imitate drinking using a coloured non-alcoholic mocktail.
  5. Try and stick to the sober part of your group; the company you keep is all that matters.
  6. Don’t give in to peer pressure.

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Maturity Matters – Not everyone can handle Liquor

Just like everything else in life; even when it comes to liquor consumption, maturity matters. Say what? How can maturity be linked to drinking alcohol? Well, alcohol is not an everyday item which comes without a permissible limit. Its an occasional entity; if not taken with caution, can have multiple uncalled for after-effects.

Its not like other food/beverage items in the sense that it is not meant for everyone. Not every body type can get used to alcohol. There’s a reason why there’s a legal age limit. Our body is not accustomed to the intake of liquor up until a certain age.

Alcohol might not induce the death or damage of brain cells directly; but it certainly affects how brain cells interact or communicate with others. This way, solid decision making goes out of the picture and bad things happen.

The intake of alcohol is often dependent on a variety of factors:

  1. Sleep – Lack of sleep can get you drunk fairly quickly because your inhibitions aren’t tightly wound like always.
  2. Food – An empty stomach not only has the potential to intoxicate you quickly but also make your stomach upset as well; since there is no food (inside your stomach) which can absorb the alcohol rushing in.
  3. Capacity – If you’re used to doing 20 push-ups each day; vowing for 35 might come with some trouble isn’t it? Hope you get the gist.
  4. Company – The company you keep largely affects how well you’re settling in and having a ball. The closer the people; less conscious you are whilst drinking.
  5. Surroundings – Being in a crowded place with loud music pumping through your veins and strobe lighting all around often does the trick.
  6. Liquor Quality – The more you spend; the better the quality is. On the flipside, taking in cheap alcohol can cause serious damage.
  7. Body Type – If you’re heavyset, the probability of alcohol affecting you after a couple of pegs is different if you’re skinny.

Knowing that every individual has a different experience post intake; here’s what you can do to not end up flat on the floor:

1. Know Your Limit

If you’re not an amateur, you should have a threshold set i.e. you would know the number of drinks acceptable to your body whilst staying in control.

2. Know When To Stop

Knowing when to stop is one thing and stopping when the moment comes is a whole different ball game. Make sure you exercise your will power when it is needed the most. It is just like forcing yourself to go to gym day in day out even when you’re short on motivation.

Certain Things Come With Age

This is one rule that works in life no matter what. You can speed everything up, but age. The older you get; the better your immunity is which will make you more capable of handling alcohol at a respectable level.

Excess of Everything Is Bad

Another case of common sense, no matter the age or time, excess of everything can be lethal. Learn to pace yourself and never go overboard. Even though it might not seem like it in the moment, there’s always a tomorrow in store.

There’ A Reason Behind The Legal Age Limit

There’s a reason why the legal drinking age in our country is 25 years. Deserves some sort of respect now, doesn’t it? Maturity definitely helps both of the mind and of the body. And it is something which comes progressively, in time. There’s no quick fix for everything in life. Patience!

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