Alcohol abuse and youth of america

Essay by jgluvna November 2002

download word file, 5 pages 4.0

Live, from anywhere, it's Friday night: time for the youth of

America to ''rage.'' Time also to get broasted, buzzed, catatonic,

messed up, ripped, screwed, trashed, wasted, zoned out. Time, to put

it in language older folks can understand, to get totally, hopelessly

drunk. Not at bars, of course: everywhere in America you have to be

21 to drink there -- legally, that is -- and anyway it's not the hip

thing to do. These days teenagers buy into keg parties at homes where

parents have left town for the weekend, where dangerous chugalug

games are played to get booze and beer flowing into their system

faster. Or they hang out at impromptu, one-night-only underground

clubs that youthful entrepreneurs have set up in abandoned factories

or warehouses, with the same goal in mind.

Despite the fact that the nation's per capita alcohol consumption

has been on a decline for years, drinking among minors, in the words

of Surgeon General Antonia Novello, ''is out of control.''


specifically, ''unsupervised parties where kids drink are out of

control. And the perception among parents that drinking is O.K. is

out of control. We're going to lose a whole generation if we don't

pay attention.''

A study issued by Novello's office last June showed that 8 million

of the nation's 20.7 million youths in grades 7 through 12 drink

alcoholic beverages every week. Of those kids, 454,000 admit to

weekly ''binges'' -- meaning they consume five or more drinks in a

single brief sitting. Another study, by the University of Michigan,

reports that almost one-third of high school seniors drink to excess

at least once every two weeks. And according to a survey prepared for

USA Today, 46% of student leaders say drinking is their high school's

biggest problem, followed by apathy. ''Serious drinking...