The Family Council on Drug Awareness
"Responsible decisions based on accurate information."
Teenage alcohol: The stepping stone drug
Among teenagers, alcohol is used more frequently than all other illicit drugs combined. Recent data show that more than 30% of high school seniors and 25% of tenth graders reported binge drinking.
Alcohol-related car crashes are a major cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24. Alcohol is also associated with homicides, suicides and drownings. Adolescent drinking has been linked to risky sexual behaviors that can lead to AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies.
An overwhelming number of college students use alcohol and nearly half of them engage in binge drinking. Students who binge drink are more likely to damage property, get into trouble with the authorities, miss class and experience injuries. Most importantly, they risk alcohol poisoning, which can lead to death. I offer these suggestions to help curtail this serious public health problem:
Strictly enforce minimum age-of-sale laws to help parents
Understand that anyone can develop a serious alcohol problem, including teenagers.
Talk with your children about alcohol. Research shows that when parents talk with teens about drinking, those teens are less likely to use alcohol.
Drunk driving is a life threatening activity. Thousands of people die each year as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol, which is rightfully criminalized. However, when G.W. Bush was arrested for it in 1976, his father was head of the CIA and Bush got a "slap on the wrist" penalty of $500, and his record covered up until the last weeks of the Presidential campaign in 2000. When this information became public, the voters did not turn against Bush for it, although he did lose the popular vote. The US Supreme Court overturned the State of Florida's voting process to ensure that he took office.
Shouldn't this President and this Supreme Court be more compassionate and reasonable toward others who make "youthful indiscretions" involving alcohol and other drugs? Why do they continue to hypocritically pursue a drug war that hurts others for doing things they are willing to accept about themselves.
Do not misunderstand: The FCDA stands opposed to the abuse of drugs including alcohol, particularly when it puts public safety at risk. But we believe all people are equal, not some people priviledged to break the law and go unscathed, while others lives are destroyed for a minor, non-violent offense.
President Bush and US Supreme Court Justices: Where is your integrity?
Content (c) 2000-2004. Family Council on Drug Awareness (FCDA), El Cerrito CA