The dark side of spring: alcohol consumption among young people

The dark side of spring: alcohol consumption among young people

He Spring day It is a long-awaited date for young people and studentswhich celebrate the beginning of the most joyful and colorful season of the year with various recreational and social activities.

However, this occasion is also usually associated with excessive drug and alcohol consumption, which represents a public health problem and a risk to the well-being of the participants.

In this article, the current situation of drug and alcohol consumption in the Spring Day celebrations in Argentina will be analyzed, its causes, consequences and possible solutions.

According to the survey recently published by the Ombudsman’s Office of the Province of Buenos Aires, they carried out an unprecedented investigation into alcohol consumption among young scouts. This study, which covered 1,221 young people from different parts of the country, investigated the modalities, prevalence and risk perception of alcohol consumption in this specific group.

  • 87.0% of those surveyed have consumed alcohol at some point in their lives.
  • The lifetime prevalence of consumption is higher among women (88.1%) compared to men (85.2%).
  • Almost 48% of those interviewed started drinking alcohol between 14 and 15 years of age, and 24.67% did so before.
  • Almost 67% of scouts who drink alcohol have done so in the last month.
  • The alcoholic drink most consumed by young scouts is fernet, followed by aperitifs, vodka, wine and beer.
  • The main place of consumption is the “friends’ house” and the majority admit that they drink alcohol because they like the flavor, they want to have fun or lose their inhibitions.
  • One in 10 of those interviewed (12.3%) acknowledges that they drink more than five drinks each time they consume alcohol, which is a risky level for health given that it can lead to intoxication.
  • Almost 50% of those interviewed claim to have traveled in a car after consuming alcohol or together with another person who did so.

These figures are alarming, since alcohol consumption in adolescence has negative effects on both a physical, psychological and social level. On a physical level, alcohol consumption can cause poisoning, dehydration, gastrointestinal disorders, liver and kidney damage, among others. At a social level, alcohol consumption can deteriorate family, school and work relationships, as well as increase the probability of becoming involved in situations of violence, traffic accidents or crimes.

What factors explain the consumption of drugs and alcohol in Spring Day celebrations?

Some possible causes are the following:

– The influence of the media and social networks, which present drug and alcohol consumption as something fun, normal and without consequences.

– Social pressure and the desire to belong to a group, which lead young people to imitate the behavior of their peers or to accept offers of substances so as not to be rejected or marginalized.

– The lack of timely and truthful information about the harmful effects of drug and alcohol consumption, as well as about healthy alternatives to enjoy leisure and free time.

– The low perception of risk and the feeling of invulnerability typical of adolescence, which cause young people to minimize or ignore the possible negative consequences of their actions.

– The limited offer of recreational, cultural and sports activities for young people in public or private spaces, especially in the most vulnerable or remote areas.

– The lack of family or institutional support in the face of personal or social problems that may affect young people, such as academic stress, family violence or unemployment.

What can be done to prevent or reduce drug and alcohol use during Spring Day celebrations? Some possible solutions are the following:

– Promote awareness and education campaigns on the harmful effects of drug and alcohol consumption aimed at young people, their families and the community in general, using mass media and social networks.

– Promote the development of personal and social skills in young people, such as self-esteem, assertiveness, communication, decision making and conflict resolution, which allow them to resist social pressure and choose healthy options for their lives.

– Offer leisure and free time alternatives for young people, such as workshops, courses, shows, contests, sports, among others, that are attractive, accessible and safe, and that stimulate their creativity, expression and participation.

– Strengthen the role of the family and the school as protective agents of young people, providing spaces for dialogue, support, guidance and accompaniment in situations that may affect their physical, mental and social well-being.

– Implement comprehensive and intersectoral public policies that address the structural causes of drug and alcohol use in young people, such as poverty, inequality, exclusion and violence.

In conclusion, the consumption of drugs and alcohol in the celebrations of Spring Day in Argentina is a complex and worrying phenomenon, which requires a multidimensional and coordinated intervention between different social actors. It is necessary to raise awareness about the risks and consequences of drug and alcohol consumption in adolescence, as well as promote healthy habits and development opportunities for young people. Spring Day should be an occasion to celebrate life, love and friendship, without endangering the health or future of young Argentines.

President of CIMACUP – UAI University Professor.

Source: Ambito

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