Excesive Drinking Among Teens Becoming More Common

Excesive Drinking Among Teens Becoming More Common

Written by Trevor Eaton, Posted on , in Section Editors Picks

It was Friday night, and Tyler and his friends had some big plans this weekend. One of his friend’s parents were out of town and they were going to have the whole place to themselves.  They went to the high school football game and invited some girls to come back to the house with them.  An older brother of one of the friends had gotten several cases of beer for them so that they could have a good time this weekend. When they got back to the house they started to play some beer pong and a drinking game based off of Dr. Who, eventually they ended up in the backyard swimming in the pool. Now Tyler had his eye on Katie, one of the girls that they invited back and he had been trying to impress her all night with his ability to consume large amounts of alcohol; over the course of the night he had downed over 15 beers. He decided that he was really going to impress her and he climbed up onto the roof and attempted to jump off into the pool. Although the girls try and talk him down the guys started chanting his name, Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. He goes for the jump that even Superman would have a hard time making, and ends up hitting the edge of the pool and falls into the water.  Everyone rushes in to pull him out but he isn’t breathing, so they call 911.  

Stuck in the hospital

The hospital calls his parents and they show up to the ICU. The doctor then informs them that he is currently in a comatose state and is hooked up to oxygen and fluids. His blood alcohol level was at 0.3 and he broke his lower back and will probably be paralyzed for life. It took two weeks for Tyler to come out of his coma, but his struggles were just beginning.  He started the long process of physical therapy but he never got use of his legs back.  It took six months before he was able to return to school and he had missed out on Homecoming, the Preference Dance, and over half of his senior year.  Those “friends” that he had before his accident would acknowledge him but they never really hung out anymore, mostly because they felt guilty when they saw him.

Life never the same again

His life was completely different and it would probably never be the same again.  His ability to leave to go to college was now on hold and he would probably just have to go to the local community college and continue to have help from his parents.  His mom had to cut back her hours so that she could help take care of Tyler more, and his dad got a second job to help make up the difference in income as well as pay for the incoming medical bills. 

Excesive drinking staying steady

This scenario happens all too often, although the teen drinking rate has been falling consistently since the 1970’s the level of high consumption drinking has remained stubbornly high. In a poll of high school seniors, 20 percent said that in the past two weeks they have had five or more drinks in a row. Officials consider this level of drinking as binge drinking.  10 percent though, said they have had 10 or more drinks at a time, and 5.6 percent claimed they have had 15 or more drinks. This level of drinking would produce blood alcohol levels four to five times the legal limit.  The most effective way to help combat this behavior is for parents to take control and talk to their teens about drinking.  Parents that spend the time to have a discussion about drugs and alcohol are more likely to have a positive effect on their teens than those that don’t.  Teens that are left to explore on their own often engage in binge drinking and excessive consumption.  If you feel that your teen might have a problem with abusing alcohol, that time to get help is now.