Youth and underage drinking

Youth and underage drinking. It is a topic that we have covered extensively throughout the years here at the YO! Magazine and for good reason. Before all the noise began about photos and videos portraying harrowing realities of what can happen at events if there are no “brother’s keepers”, we’ve had to contend with minors openly purchasing alcohol for their grandparents, parents, uncles and aunties for decades.

“Go by the shop and by a nip for me”, “go there and buy a bottle of scotch for me and doe smell it or drink it” are just some of the requests (and often commands) that would be made to children. Sometimes, these kids aren’t even over the age of eight. Isn’t itlaughable to tell a child at that age “don’t drink it” when to them, it’s a big people thing to do and at that age, we all wanted to be big people?

While speaking to some teens a few days ago, they admitted that their first taste of alcohol was by eight or nine years old and often occurred when their parents weren’t looking or when no one was at home to monitor their every move. Others made reference to parties and sleep overs at a friend’s house where the alcohol was in a cupboard. “We didn’t need to go buy because I knew where my parents hid the bottles”, one boy told me.

The desire to drink until I’m drunk is glorified in music, influenced by peer pressure but most importantly is inadvertently supported by some parents and or guardians. We can blame the promoters, the musicians, radio and even T.V. but speaking with our young people on this very subject, the common denominator was always a parent or guardian.

I can go on and on about the dangers and effects of alcohol consumption but I will defer this time. I believe it’s time we hold the real culprits responsible for the mess we saw on social media these past few days. It is time we call out the drinkers themselves, the frass heads who felt it was indeed wise to mix alcoholic beverages just to have a good time. We duly and without any regard lambasted promoters and very subtly punished the drinkers themselves. The ones who days before would post just how they wanted to be after an event.

I can’t tell the age of the frass ones in the pictures but I do hope that in fear of looking silly again, all of them will think twice before getting intoxicated. I am thankful that the island is again aware of a problem we have had for years. But I am yet to hear or see how anyone is going to address the problem before it becomes an epidemic.

Have a great weekend ya’ll and God bless.