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Youth

Occurrence of drinking

Assessment 

Trapping the youth

Occurrence of drinking

The following is a free adaptation from an article in Reader's Digest June 2003, p 38.

An October 2002 study of primary school children in Cape Town by Bridges Alcohol and Education Programme found the following:

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Children as young as six are experimenting with alcohol.

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The average age for first consuming alcohol is ten years.

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30% of primary school children have tried alcohol.

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23% of the above group continued to drink.

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14% of people seeking treatment at rehabilitation centres are between 10 and 19 years old (Jan 1998).

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By 2003 this figure has doubled to 28%.

The MRC has found the following:

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Up to 40% of male and 35% of female teenagers under the age of 18 binge drink (five or more drinks on one occassion).

Young children's bodies cannot metabolise alcohol in the same way as those of adults, leading to quicker impairment of judgement and coordination. This leads to 

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rape

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murder

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unsafe sex.

Assessment. Signs that may indicate involvement in alcohol are the following. However, do not assume that your child is in immediate peril as much of this behaviour may also be part of being a teenager.

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His peer group drinks.

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His breath smells. 

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Money goes missing in the home.

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Daily habits change. Parents are avoided. Does he go straight to his room when returning? Difficult to wake in the morning. Does he avoid breakfast? Study and school results decline.

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Recent emotional trauma.

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Mood swings, especially abnormal aggressive, inconsistent and incoherent behaviour with profuse apologies later on. Alcohol alters the brain's chemistry.

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Depression, as both a cause and effect of alcoholism.

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You do not know where he is.

For ordering a chemical test click on http://www.drugtestyourteen.com/ .

Trapping the youth

- p5, Pretoria News, 11 Nov 2002

ďItís cool to be seen knocking back the odd shooter or two 

Brutal Fruit. Hooch. Extreme. Klippies and Kola. Spin. Breezer. Bugs. Love Potion. Aqua.

The names say it all. It's trendy; "cool" and gives the impression that your life could change after just one of these. For the uninitiated, these are all alcoholic beverages, called coolers or shooters. They have an alcohol per volume content of 3% to 6%, they're almost sickly sweet and they're aimed at the young end of the market.

According to the companies which manufacture these drinks, the 18 to 25 age group is THE growth market and they readily admit that it's a battlefield. Because fewer young people are drinking beer, it's the cider and cooler market who want their money;

So, their advertising is aimed almost exclusively at attracting youngsters with money to spend and a taste for alcohol. The problem is that these drinks are also readily available at pizza outlets, hamburger joints and even corner cafes.

The advertising campaigns around these coolers present a lifestyle which is very attractive and enticing for young people, especially teenagers. It's the in thing to do when you drink a cooler, even if it is illegal to consumes alcohol under the age of lB.

Police say the youngsters are "drinking anything", but especially these coolers because the advertising is "so enticing". "They give the impression of a lively, colourful existence," one policeman said.Ē ď

 

 

 

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Back to index.    Disclaimer: Although reasonable effort has been applied to maintain the integrity of the data and advice on this site, no responsibility can be accepted for the use thereof. It is a resource guide for understanding and managing alcoholism. The information on this site is provided "as is" for general information and is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis or treatment recommendation of a qualified health care professional.    Enquiries regarding this web site should be directed to support@alcohol.co.za