When St. Patrick’s Day comes around each year the things that are usually envisioned for this holiday are the color green to keep from getting pinched, leprechauns, parades with green beads, and lots of alcohol. As your teen leaves your house in green to go the local parade at 8am, you may think that you have nothing to worry about, but the reality is that if your teen wants to drink – they will. St. Patrick’s Day has more to do with getting drunk and high than it has to do with anything concerning Ireland. This holiday picked up steam back in the 1980s when Budweiser used a St. Patrick’s Day marketing campaign that gave Americans an excuse to drink in abundance. The scary aspect of these types of drinking holidays is that teens can get easier access to alcohol. Although bars and liquor stores keep a close eye on underage drinking and law enforcement is usually in full force during this time, teenagers become crafty in how they are able to get bottles into their hands. These types of holidays promote binge drinking which teens have no problem participating in especially since the number one way that teenagers tend to drink is by binging. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have put together some data to prove this.
- 33 percent of 15-year-olds have had a minimum of one drink and by the age of 18 60 percent of teens have had a minimum of one drink.
- Teens between the ages of 12 and 20 make up 11 percent of all alcohol consumption in the United States before they are even of age to drink.
- 7.7 million of the teens between 12 and 20 admit they have binge drank at least one time.
- 90 percent of teen drinking is considered binge drinking due to the speed and quantity of their drinking.
Binge drinking is often the choice for teens who know that they could face consequences legally or academically and choose to “chug” as much as they can get their hands on without being caught which usually consists of 2 or 3 drinks in one hour. Never mind that they become drunker quicker and by the time they get buzzed, their inhibitions become lowered and they no longer think about the ramifications of their actions. Your teen needs to be made aware of the risks that occur with binge drinking. By letting them know the dangers of underage drinking and how risky behaviors are increased with alcohol consumption, you can encourage them to make the right choice to stay sober on St. Patrick’s Day and every day.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center leads the way with progressive, evidence-based programming to most effectively treat each individual adolescent while focusing on the uniqueness of each client. Healing the mind, the body, and the spirit as one in the same can make the biggest difference in staying sober.
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