Alcohol has to be a conversation starter
Imagine watching your 15-year-old son walking out the door on a Friday evening heading to a house party with friends.
Now, imagine receiving a call in the early morning hours the next day that tells you he has been rushed to hospital after passing out at the party. Later, he will be pronounced dead.
Those thoughts might be running through the minds of the parents of a teen boy from Conception Bay South who recently passed away at the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s. By all accounts, the youth was an avid softball player and a terrific athlete all together. So, what happened? Although authorities have not confirmed cause of death, sources told CBC News last week the youth had quite a bit to drink at a party that night.
If a lcohol consumption did indeed play a factor in the teen’s death, that is a heartbreaking way to go for a young person with a lot to look forward to in life.
Sometimes, it takes a tragic event to start asking tough questions. In this case, those questions should revolve around teens and the dangers of binge drinking.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, consuming five or more drinks during a single sitting is considered binge drinking. To some, that might not seem like a lot, but for the right person it can be.
Evidence of binge drinking among youth can be found through various social media outlets.
There are pictures of liquor bottles, emptied by either themselves or their friends. You might come across images of teens passed out and other depictions of drunkenness. The Internet, good or bad, has it all documented for your perusing.
Alcohol is like any other drug and it should be treated as such. We always push parents to speak with their children about the dangers of drugs, but how often did you hear about alcohol poisoning growing up?
Not a whole lot. Rarely in that conversation is alcohol included. It is about time that it should be. Unfortunately, we’ve never been good for heeding our own advice. For as many campaigns as there are about stopping driving under the influence, there are just as many yearly arrests for it.
The same goes for telling people to slow down in inclement weather. We nod our heads in agreement and then wonder what happened after going off the road during a snowstorm. It is not right; it is just the way it is. Sure, getting drunk a couple of nights a weekend looks like fun now, but there are dangers in that. Getting drunk isn’t just drinking more than you should, passing out and then waking up the next morning with a bad hangover.
There can be consequences. Some of them are much worse than a headache.
We have to do a better job of informing our children about the dangers of excessive drinking.
Sometimes, it takes a tragic event to start asking tough questions. In this case, those questions should revolve
around teens and the dangers of binge drinking.