Recommendation Report about Teenage Drinking
To: Teenagers and Their Parents
Date: December 11, 2015.
Re: Recommendation Report about Teenage Drinking
The purpose of this report is to recommend the best solutions to deal with the issue of teenage drinking. The audience for this report is teenagers and their parents. Based on my research, I recommend that it is imperative to find solutions that will minimize cases of drinking among the teenagers.
Teenage drinking is a significant problem in public health. Secondly, alcohol is the most commonly used substance with harmful effects among teenagers, with a significant percent of the alcohol consumed in a form of binge drinking (Bonnie 8). Currently, some children as young as 12 years report that they have used alcohol, and by the age of 13-15 years, the number doubles. Notably, the world that the teenagers live in has a significant influence on the decision that young people make regarding the drinking of alcohol (Castillo 10). Therefore, this circumstance means that families, friends, schools, and the whole society can influence the teens whether to start drinking alcohol early or delay until adulthood. For instance, in families in which alcohol drinking is common, the adolescents are likely to start drinking alcohol at an early age. Moreover, teenagers with behavioral or family-based problems are at a higher risk of engaging in early drinking (Merrick, Tenenbaum and Mohammed 263). In addition, a common problem posed by teenage drinking, is binge drinking. This issue is a situation where adolescents consume approximately 5 drinks on a single occasion. It is a dangerous way that usually leads to serious health problems and possible deaths (Bonnie 13).
Through research and evaluation, I have identified the following criteria, and I am optimistic that decision-makers are likely to use to weigh possible solutions.
When looking at the consequences of teenage drinking, it is evident that drunken teenagers pose a safety risk. Individual teenagers who drink alcohol are more likely to be involved in violent crimes and suicide attempts (Castillo 17). Furthermore, there are other risky behaviors that also associate with early drinking. Most of the people who start drinking alcohol before reaching their 21st birthday are more likely to have multiple sex partners and engage in unsafe sex (Merrick, Tenenbaum and Mohammed 263). As a result, these victims are at the risk of having unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore, drinking is closely associated with sexual assaults, such as rape. In addition, there is a safety concern that underage drinking may cause other alcohol-related problems, for instance, addiction (Bonnie 30). Some victims become dependent on alcohol in their adulthood; this situation means that it is challenging for these people to control their drinking habits. As such, alcohol becomes an interference to their normal social and work life (Castillo 21).
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Accidents and Possible Deaths
Alcohol drinking affects the ability of a young person to make sound decisions. For example, after drinking, some teenagers do not remember the dangers associated with driving under the influence of alcohol (Bonnie 43). The consequences can be fatal injuries and possible death of a victim, and even for other people. To illustrate, a significant number of people who lose their lives in car accidents involving a drunken teenager are people other than the driver (Castillo 25). Furthermore, statistics show tragic consequences of teenage drinking and driving. First, about 5,864 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2008 (Mendralla and Grosshandler 7). Secondly, in the same age bracket involved in fatal crashes in 2008, 31 percent of the drivers had been drinking. On the other hand, the number of teens involved in serious car accidents has increased to 27 percent from 1998 to 2008 (Mendralla and Grosshandler 9). Motor vehicle accidents continue to be a leading cause of death for teenagers. Therefore, this increase means that issues related to teenage drinking and driving is a serious problem (Bonnie 45). On a similar note, although the age does not really determine the occurrence of an accident, the chances are much higher with a teen driver than an adult one in a vehicle. In addition to inexperience, drunken teenagers are at a greater risk to cause collisions (Mendralla and Grosshandler 9).
Parental and Community Involvement
According to safety-based criteria, teenage drinking poses a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Because the issues related to safety, such as sexual assaults, are felt by everybody in society, the solutions to prevent teenage drinking are not the sole responsibility of parents (Castillo 35). The larger community has an important role to play as well. In particular, it requires a collaborative effort to manage the problem of underage drinking. Therefore, parents, teachers, and friends can have a significant impact on influencing the choices that teenagers will make in relation to drinking alcohol in order to reduce the probability of safety issues (Mendralla and Grosshandler 10). For instance, talking to teenagers openly about the risks and consequences about early drinking is crucial. This approach will help the young people in delaying the ages at which they will take their first drink. As a result, open conversations will also reduce the possibility of teenagers to become problematic drinkers in the adult life (Bonnie 67).
Secondly, families can assist in reducing safety concerns posed by teenage drinking by staying involved in the lives of their children. Such a circumstance means that families, particularly parents, should pay attention to what is happening with their children (Valerie & Grosshandler 11). In this way, it will become easier to determine whether they have started drinking or not. Moreover, when a parent realizes that a son or daughter has started to drink alcohol, it is important to initiate and facilitate open talks in a responsible manner (Egendorf 12). To be more precise, responsible taking does not involve judgmental lectures. In contrast, this method requires the parent to set clear expectations, control his or her emotions, and being open on experiences of alcohol drinking (Merrick, Tenenbaum and Mohammed 262). As a result, the teenagers will understand that engaging in drinking habits can cause serious safety issues.
Support Programs and Training Sessions
This solution involves the development of support and educational programs with the information about the dangers related early alcohol drinking to young individuals (Egendorf 33). Support programs are useful when dealing with the teenagers that have started drinking alcohol. In practice, support programs create a friendly environment for dealing with adolescents: they provide an opportunity for young people to grow and explore their options without alcohol (Merrick, Tenenbaum and Mohammed 263). These methods also develop the awareness among the teenagers that alcohol drinking has unhealthy effects on their lives. In addition, because the effects of teenage drinking impact the whole community, sharing knowledge about the problem can be useful in preventing it. The community should help the young people learn about the latest research and information on alcohol use among teenagers and the detrimental effects of this habit (Schaefer 15).
Government Involvement in Preventing Teenage Drinking
Accidents and possible death. On the other hand, considering the increased rate of accidents caused by drunken teenagers, the government should set laws that govern underage drinking. The legislation has to make it clear that it is illegal to sell alcohol to people less than 21 years (Egendorf 28). The law enforcers should also be able to arrest businessmen that sell alcohol to teenagers, along with juvenile drinkers and drunk drivers. Additionally, they have to trace the cases when adolescents drive under the influence of alcohol (Bonnie 65). Furthermore, there is a need to develop policies that may help in reducing the problem. This includes policies that enhance age checks and limits for people buying alcohol (Egendorf 39). Moreover, those parents that influence their children’s involvement in drinking alcohol should be punished. Parents are supposed to be at the frontline to discourage drinking of alcohol among the teenagers.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The increasing rate of teenage drinking means that it is time for the entire society to change the mindset and take actions in order to solve the problem. People should stop accepting the issue as a given and start helping the youth understand the harmful effects of alcohol drinking in their lives. Moreover, it is crucial that discussions on teenage drinking should be initiated early to influence the teenagers in making responsible decisions about drinking alcohol. In this case, although it takes time to encourage new attitudes on teenage drinking, it is imperative to keep sending the message that society does not support underage drinking.
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There is a major concern about teenage drinking and driving. This circumstance destroys lives and families. The consequences of teenage drinking and driving are devastating on the entire nation. In particular, as the statistics show, a significant number of lives are lost when the teenagers are driving under the influence of alcohol. They pose a great danger to their own lives and those of other people. Finally, individuals who drink and drive can lose their privileges to drive. Besides, billions of dollars are spent each year to prevent alcohol-related crashes and educate young people about making responsible decision on alcohol drinking. Therefore, this factor means that there is a need to discourage drinking among the teenagers as proposed in the report.