Adolescents and Alcohol


Editorial: April 30, 2019

In many countries, children and young adolescents live in abstention sub-cultures. Drinking alcohol is looked upon as a form of evolution and drinking represents a symbolic expression of status transformation from adolescence to adulthood. In some culture, rice beer, a substitute of alcohol is used in rituals and is termed as a symbol of honour. Therefore, drinking alcohol or rice beer is part of normal human development and is considered as part of socialization process within a family and in society.

For adolescents, drinking usually starts first with their friend circles as teens tries out many new things and asserts their independence. As teens enter into adulthood, they are often tempted by more mature activities and follow the elders’ footsteps and try to establish their own identity. Drinking debut is often accompanied by a series of other intoxicating items like tobacco, smoking, drugs and other substances as a means of coping with stress.

Teenagers and young adults get involved with alcohol and other intoxicating items mainly out of curiosity, peer pressure from friends, mutiny, acceptance, excitement, independence and pleasure. Since teenage is a stage where young boys and girls think that they have grown up and wants to explore life on their own, they want to know what it feels like to be drunk and intoxicated. Most of them do it due to peer pressure from their friends. Even though young minds tend to feel and act like grown up persons, yet mentally, they are very weak and have very little capability to take decisions on their own, as a result of which, they fell prey to the stupid pressure of their friends. Some teenagers do it in order to rebel against the rules placed on them because they feel that they should be free from rules as they are big enough to take care of themselves. Many of them do it because they want to experience something other than normal lives because they feel that there is nothing else to do other than break rules and enjoy with friends, which gives them excitement.

However, we cannot wholly blame teens for their deeds. After all, at any age, people want to be liked and accepted by those around them. I am not saying that getting into drinking and consuming other intoxicating items are good for them, but the people older to them should be blamed too for getting into the habits. Many persons get into this habit during their teenage days but they could not stop the habit long after they enter into adulthood as a result of which, teenagers automatically follow their footsteps.

Every adult should keep in mind that, whatever they do whether good or bad, there are younger eyes following their footsteps. They should know that, they are role models whether good or bad. Therefore, adults should set an example if they want the younger generations to be good and on track.