My kids sometimes joke about me being a "wino" because I like a glass of Malbec with dinner. This changes to a "beer-o" if I have a beer with my chili.
The irony is that as an adult, I drink wine and beer mainly as a compliment to food. But as a teenager, it, as Monty Python would say, Something Completely Different.
As a teen, I had little appreciation for the exquisite marriage of fine wine with gourmet cuisine. Nah, back then, it was all about the buzz. Thankfully, I never resorted to drinking Thunderbird or Mad Dog 20/20, but some Ernest and Julio Gallo Hearty Burgundy might have been consumed.
The probably was, as with many teenagers, moderation wasn't in my vocabulary. Drinking back then was in binges, often with unpleasant results.
I'm not alone in this. According to the Surgeon General: Adolescents Drink Less Frequently Than Adults, But When They Do Drink, They Drink More Heavily Than Adults.
Not only that, teens use alcohol more frequently than they do all other illicit drugs combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Rates of current alcohol use in the survey were 3.5% among children aged 12 and 13, 13.0% among 14- and 15-year-olds, and 26.3 % among 16- and 17-year-olds. More than one million adolescents needed treatment for an alcohol use problem, although the vast majority did not receive it.
The worrying thing about alcohol use among younger teens is that, according to the Surgeon General, teens who report drinking before the age of 15 are more likely
to have other substance abuse problems during adolescence than those who start later; to engage in risky sexual behavior; and to be involved in car crashes, unintentional injuries, and physical fights after drinking, both during adolescence and in
(photo: Greenwich Time)
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has declared April Alcohol Awareness Month, in recognition of alcohol's pervasive influence among adolescents, adults, and families.
Did/Does alcohol pay a role in your high school experience?