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Perhaps to play devil's advocate, what if we just let teens decide for themselves whether they will or won't drink, I wonder if they would perhaps begin to make appropriate decisions and learn to take responsibility for themselves. One of the tricky things about educating teens and guiding themselves is that at some point they are going to make those decisions for themselves. If we create heavily restrictive environments and then let a huge number of them go off to college and suddenly throw all the rules out the window, why are we surprised that there is a huge amount of binge drinking, etc.? If we teach them that the responsibility to decide is someone else's until they go to a place where there is a huge amount of pressure and suddenly no rules...
I have to say I go back and forth between the somewhat libertarian idea of letting people decide for themselves and allow parents and their families to make rules on their own and still hoping that some of the restrictions we have actually have a positive effect.
The previous thoughts were spot on for me. The notion of education and being able to raise awareness of alcohol use and abuse amongst teens is critical. Given some of the destructive habits amongst teens and their consumption of alcohol, it is vitally important to open dialogue, engage in serious discourse that is relevant and meaningful, and ensure that teens understand the full implications of their actions. Treating it as something that can only be talked about in hushed tones and discarding it might be part of the reason why abuse of alcohol is present in the first place. Through education and discussion in as many forums as possible, teens can better understand the full nature of consequences behind their actions.
To aid in the prevention of teenage drinking in the future I believe it is very important to educate our youth. We need to address this problem when they are very young such as elementary school. Teachers can begin to discuss issues at age appropriate levels. This way they will be introduced to this very serious problem that exists. It is also important that parents talk to their children about the dangers of drinking. It is best for parents to start this at a young age as well. Many parents do not discuss these issues which their childrens until they are teenagers and by then it may be too late.
No doubt education and effective guidance of youth should form the main pillar of any program to to solve the problem of teenage alcoholic drinking. However it must be remembered that the content and quality of such educational program is also very important.
It appears that currently such educations schemes emphasize too much on the evils of drinking, and too little in introducing the young children to activities and ideas that can form alternate source of attraction for the teenage children. If children are busy and happy with their other activities there are less chances that they will be in too much hurry to start alcoholic drinking.
It is now quite common to hear grown ups criticize the young generation as a class for so many things. But if the offending behavior is so widespread, perhaps the fault lies not with the individual youngster, but with the world that is created and handed down to the young people by the grown ups. Please remember the world of today has not been shaped by the young. They are only reacting naturally to the world that is made by the earlier generations.
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