Weekly Feature



2018-06-21 / Bee Heard

Bee Editorial

Underage drinking can lead to serious issues

It is that time of year when seniors graduate from high school and move on to the next phase of their lives. Commencement ceremonies will be held between Thursday and Sunday this week for each of the town’s five public high schools.

As students continue their metamorphosis into adulthood, celebrations are a commonplace way to mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

Parties that celebrate such momentous occasions, particularly in nice weather, are sure to attract temptations that could have far-reaching negative ramifications. Underage drinking is a serious public health problem in the United States. Alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth, which of course poses enormous health and safety risks. More than half of American youths ages 12 to 20 have tried alcohol. Girls are nearly as likely as boys to experiment with drinking. Underage and binge drinking is risky and can lead to car accidents, violent behavior, alcohol poisoning and other health problems. Drinking at a young age greatly increases the risk of developing alcohol problems later in life. Talking to kids early and openly about the risks of drinking can help reduce their chances of becoming problem drinkers.

The consequences of underage drinking can affect everyone. Aggressive behavior, property damage, injuries, violence and deaths that can result from underage drinking are a nationwide concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 25 percent of the state’s high school seniors report recent binge drinking (situations in which they drank five or more drinks of alcohol consecutively). Binge drinking is the most common, costly and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. Adolescence is a time of heightened risk-taking, and as alcohol and drugs enter the picture, parents are faced with a unique set of challenges. They can take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and can help their kids do the same and engage in smart choices.

Unfortunately, many teens find easy access to alcohol because it is available and unsecured in their home. In others, parents allow their teens, and possibly even their children’s friends, to drink while under their supervision. We urge you to not let that happen at this year’s graduation parties.

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