A lot of kids started drinking around 16 years old. As the years go by, drinking reaches younger and younger people. It's unfortunate. The average age when youth first try alcohol is 11 years for boys and 13 years for girls. By age 14, 41 percent of children have had least one drink. The average age at which Americans begin drinking regularly is 15.9 years old.Teens who begin drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21. An early age of drinking onset is also associated with alcohol-related violence not only among persons under age 21 but among adults as well. It has been estimated that over three million teenagers are out-and-out alcoholics. Several million more have a serious drinking problem that they cannot manage on their own.
Annually, more than 5,000 deaths of people under age 21 are linked to underage drinking. The three leading causes of death for 15- to 24-year-olds are automobile crashes, homicides and suicides -- alcohol is a leading factor in all three. Drinking alcoholic beverages beyond one's capacity to the point of intoxication is a risky behaviour in which most young people get involved at some time. In a survey conducted by the University of the Philippines in 1994, 60 per cent or 5.3 million Filipino youths are said to be drinking alcoholic beverages. About 4.2 million of them are males and 1.1 million are females. The study stated that most of the Filipino teenagers have tried cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. In fact, there are more alcoholic drinkers than smokers. On the average, Filipino youths start drinking alcohol at the age of 16 or 17. However, there are also many cases when children as young as 12 years old are already drinking alcoholic beverages. About 37 per cent of the respondents in the survey have continued the habit of drinking alcohol while 33 per cent said they only drink alcoholic beverages on special occasions. Some 17 per cent said they have already decided to stop the vice of drinking. The Philippines, drinking is more acceptable among girls than smoking. Nevertheless, it is still the case that it is considered more appropriate for men than for women to drink. Parents are more lax with boys, giving them more freedom to drink alcohol than their sisters. The teenagers said their family, friends, and the mass media have influenced them to experiment with drinking alcohol. Underscoring the critical role that the family plays in youth behaviours, young people seem to take their cue from their own parents' attitudes and behaviour. Thus, a boy who grows up with an alcoholic father is more likely to become one himself.
The study indicated that those who are more likely to drink are those: * who are not living with parents (for example, college students living in dormitories) * whose parents approve of drinking
* who frequently attending social gatherings
* who enjoy going out to parties, bars and discos
* who do not take part in sports activities
WHY DO SOME ADOLESCENTS DRINK?
Young people try alcohol for many reasons.
* They might be curious, or want to be one of the group.
* Some young people drink because it makes them feel older, or because it gives them a certain image among friends. * Some people drink when they go to parties and nightclubs to enjoy themselves more. The alcohol might make them feel more relaxed. * Some people use alcohol to help them sleep or to forget things. * Some people need to drink every day just to get through the day because they are dependent on alcohol.
As children move from adolescence to young adulthood, they encounter dramatic physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes. Developmental transitions, such as puberty and...