Why young people drink alcohol (Continued from here)
Many of the ads about alcohol show people having fun, surrounded by friends, and give the message that drinking alcohol is super cool.
Many kids would see parents, adults and older young people drinking alcohol as a social thing. It is not surprising that some kids think that drinking alcohol is cool, makes them seem more grown up and is the ‘thing to do’.
Some kids may think it is daring to try alcohol and others may feel that they want to be part of the group who are trying alcohol.
The Law in Australia says that children under 18 cannot buy alcohol, or be served with alcohol in a hotel, and they are not allowed to be given alcohol in any public place unless they are given the alcohol by their parent.
There are good reasons for this.
- A young person’s body cannot cope with the effects of alcohol and this may lead to him/her behaving in an unsafe way.
- Also too much alcohol is a dangerous poison for children. Many very young children have had to go to hospital with alcohol poisoning after they have gone around the house after an adult’s party, and ‘finished’ all the drinks that have been left where they can reach them.
- If kids start drinking alcohol when they are young or when they are teenagers, they are more likely to drink too much alcohol when they are older.
- Alcohol can afect the way the brain develops and grows.
Too much alcohol
A standard drink has 10 grams of alcohol in it. The size of a standard drink depends on what the drink is.
- Spirits, like whisky or vodka, have a lot of alcohol in a small amount so a standard drink is a small amount, about 30 ml.
- Wine has about 10 grams of alcohol in 100 ml.
- A light beer has about 10 grams of alcohol in 425ml.
- Cans and bottles of alcoholic drinks have different amounts of alcohol, depending on the amount of liquid.
The number of standard drinks in a can or bottle is written on the label.
When people have too much alcohol they get sick (and many of them vomit), they are not in full control of their minds and bodies, and they are not able to think clearly or to make good choices (especially about whether it is safe for them to drive).
Some people who have had too much to drink become angry and they can hurt other people, including people in their family.
To be continued.