These days it seems like you turn on the TV, read the paper or go online and the news is focused on tragedy stemming from drinking and drug use by kids and teens. Unfortunately this drinking and drug use starts and ends someplace. Typically it is in the home of adults who either don’t know or care how drinking or drugs might affect a young person. Sometimes, these people even want these kids having parties at home as they can ensure their safety.
Many believe that underage drinking is a “rite of passage” and “everyone does it”. However, continuous research warns that teens that drink are far more likely to engage in violent behavior, suffer sexual assault, fail in school, be involved in a car crash, suffer depression and even commit suicide. These dangers are not new and are only getting worse with the resurgence of heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs, all of which can be found at a good number of these house parties.
Chemical dependency, also known as addiction or substance use disorders, are harder for youth to combat. Combined with peer pressure, this makes it easier for young people to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Users admit they had their first experience with a certain intoxicant, or becoming intoxicated for the first time at one of these house parties. While it is quite rare for a person to spend their entire life free of any alcohol or drug use, these house parties contribute more than most people realize to the epidemic of cases of addiction in the U.S.
Teens that remain abstinent until the age of 21 are 5 times less likely to develop addiction. However, reality is that 75% of teens associated with drinking, relate the behavior to their parents.
What this really means is that parents who do not educate their teens about alcohol and/or drug use could be contributing to the growing problem of addiction in young people, teens and adults.
The other issue that parents face all over the country is a myriad of “social host” laws which can impose sharp penalties on parents responsible for allowing underage drinking on their property. Several of these cases seem to be occurring constantly and in the news on a regular basis. Parents don’t plan to have accidents happen, but they do, and these laws effectively make parents responsible for not only their own children, but those which use substances illegally on their property.
Rogers Memorial Hospital offers detoxification treatment and residential treatment for addiction in Kenosha, West Allis, and Oconomowoc. If you feel like you or someone you know may have a problem with addiction, please seek help. The faster addiction is treated and corrected the better life will become for the person.