The overall culture and consequence of youthful drinking are partly due to the patterns exhibited by the idea of drinking at large in the of-age adults in society. The same factors that cause alcohol abuse adults are prevalent and similar to what affects their youthful counterparts. Looking at the reasons behind wild youth culture from this point of view can help reduce the effects of youth abuse from targeting adult drinking.
Establishing Healthy Environments
An environment that doesn’t allow or support good choices, which includes alcohol consumption for those of any age; are not beneficial to education and awareness for the youth. Young people get a variety of messages from their role models, which include parents and teachers and others regarding the abuse of alcohol. On one end of the spectrum they’re getting a completely different message from the culture at large.
There are multitudes of advertisements appealing to people’s whims and wants and this paints alcohol in a satisfactory light. Media portrays drinking as a major tenant of being cool and sophisticated. This glamorous light that is shined upon them should be known for what it really is, a portrayal by an advertisement that doesn’t connote reality.
Many times young people live in areas and communities that put a low priority on enforcing alcohol policies or drinking age. It’s often easy for them to get alcohol underage through illegal means. Communities are sending mixed type of messages that it’s an okay thing to do when oftentimes it can lead down into a darker path. If it didn’t there wouldn’t be the need for great resources and websites that offer treatment services, such as www.clearbrookinc.com. They want to target it before or after it becomes an issue.
The way that communities can uphold these values is by staying consistent with the first warnings they gave. The first step is to stop conveying mixed messages and instead develop safe and healthy behavior by building upon the environment safety. Strategic use of existing alcohol abuse can help identify where the problems are and how to fix them.
Policy change can include being stronger with existing mandates or laws as well as punishing businesses that are actively going against the laws already put into place. On a larger level people can help develop strategic uses for media advocacy that help educate the public, almost in the form of how campaigns have rallied against smoking tobacco and other related products. Enforcement behind all of this is what really hits the point home.
It’s not just people talking about it or making a campaign but following it up with actionable methods. Using these methods does not skip past holding the youth accountable for their actions and behavior. They are part of the problem but certainly not the crux of it either. The youth doesn’t engage in the proliferation of media and advent of promotion and distribution of alcohol. The people who are already of age and been established for decades are the ones doing so.
Successful Alcohol Prevention
Changing the environment takes multiple forms, on top of what has already been said. One that should stand out is the idea of changing social norms. It’s a passed down cultural conscious idea in terms of marketing alcohol as cool and glamorous. The idea stems from adults perpetuating this and it influencing the youth. Changing the attitude on a larger cultural level will influence youth’s attitude on drinking.
Changed minds can’t be the only way to get around it, as people will always be swayed in one way or the other. Improving law enforcement with the ability to act is a top priority for many. Communities can design policies that halt drinking among children and making sure to enforce what’s already on the books is an important first step.
If it’s harder for people to get alcohol in the first place, which is in the case of youth, then it only goes to show they will drink less. Making adults accountable for the youth receiving alcohol will force them to be harder on the kids so they don’t get in trouble either.
Overall, the risks attached to youth culture are coming down from the top as young people are being influenced by adults’ behavior. In order to combat a time of change in youth it’s important for the environment to be healthy place to grow up in and to not receive contradictory information from sources of authority.
Eva Bolton is a psychologist who works with teens and young adults on the topic of addiction. She also wants to involve parents and reaches out to them in her online articles.