Risks and Consequences of Underage Drinking
The consequences of underage drinking go beyond the physical impact that alcohol has on the developing body of a teen, but it also affects the choices they make, which often can make an impact on their entire lives.
A recent study shed some light on the shocking world of teenagers who binge drink and thereafter make atrocious decisions. The study proves that teenagers are simply not old enough to drink, not just because it’s the law but also because they are not mentally or emotionally ready to deal with the consequences that alcohol consumption can have. One of the issues that affect teen drinkers is that they very often do not have the willpower to stop once they’ve started which results in heavy binge drinking. In fact the study showed that half of Australia’s Year 11 students are binge drinkers and one in four are compulsive drinkers who often lose the ability to stop.
The study which interviewed 450 students discovered a strong link between alcohol consumption habits of these year 11, 17 year olds and very risky behaviour particularly sexual behaviour.
Teenagers that binge drink are actually 2 and a half times more likely to have sex and are also more likely to regret sex. Perhaps even more scary for parents is that many of these binge drinking teens admitted to having multiple sexual partners.
The study’s author, Dr Paul Aguis said that teenagers are more likely to endanger themselves than other binge drinkers by having unsafe sexual encounters. The study was published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
According to the survey of Australian secondary school students in Victoria, half admitted to consuming 5 or more alcoholic drinks in a row in the fortnight prior to the survey.
An alarming number of teenagers also admitted to experiencing compulsive drinking within the last year where they were not able to control themselves. An even larger number (almost half) of the teenagers questioned admitted they had sex in the last year.
From the information brought to light in the survey it is quite obvious why teenage drinking is illegal but it is also apparent that much more needs to be done to stop teens getting their hands on alcohol in the first place.
The infogram below was taken from a post on News.com.au that describes the problem according to the survey’s results:
The study reaffirms the long standing suspicions that teenage drinking is on the increase, regardless of the fact that selling alcohol to minors is illegal, so is providing alcohol to minors or minors purchasing alcohol for themselves or others. The heavy fines that these actions carry do not seem to be deterring anyone.
The post on News.com.au went on to state:
The study included a good cross section of the student population with 75 per cent of those surveyed coming from public schools and forty per cent came from families earning between $50,000 and $100,000 a year, he said.
What was concerning was that binge drinkers were almost twice as likely to have experienced an episode of sex they later regretted due to alcohol, he said.
Those who reported at least one episode of compulsive drinking in the past year were more than four times as likely to have sex they later regretted due to alcohol, than students who had not drunk compulsively, the study found.
The good news was that alcohol consumption did not affect young people’s decision to use a condom.
One in three young people who had sex did so without a condom and while this figure was high, it remained largely the same whether or not the young person consumed alcohol before sex, Dr Aguis said.