Recently there has been a worrying increase in underage drinking. There are numerous arguments for why this dangerous trend exists. Supporters of lowering the US drinking age to 18 argue that lowering the drinking age demystifies alcohol, decreasing the number of underage young adults who seek alcohol desperately.
Opponents of lowering the drinking age limit argue that since the drinking age was increased from 18 to 21 in the US, the number of drunk-driving fatalities has dramatically decreased. Regardless, both sides agree that binge drinking is an enormous problem and that it has interestingly increased with the appearance of the practice of mixing super-caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol.
Reports indicate that 90 percent of young adult drinking occurs in the form of binge drinking, 200,000 young adults per year visit the emergency room because of drinking-related accidents, and more than 1,700 undergraduates die annually from alcohol-related issues.
Alcohol and Caffeine
Young adults who mix alcohol and energy drinks become intoxicated twice as often as young adults who do not. It is also more likely that they are to be injured, taken advantage of sexually, take advantage of someone else sexually, and drive under the influence. These are staggering facts that are in part related to the rise in alcoholic energy drinks such as Four Loko.
Four Loko: Alcohol With Caffeine
Another dangerous aspect of drinks such as Four Loko is that the caffeine blocks part of the effect of the alcohol that causes you to pass out. This enables people to drink longer and not be fully aware of the effect that the alcohol is taking on their body. This ostensible health threat has prompted the FDA to force Phusion Project, the manufacturer of Four Loko, to reformulate the drink.
Consequently, caffeine is no longer an ingredient in Four Loko, but the drink still could be the alcohol equivalent of four to five 12-ounce beers. To put that alcohol content in perspective, four drinks for a female and five drinks for a male over a two-hour period of time is considered binge drinking.
Tips for Parents
The fact that alcoholic energy drinks are cheap, user-friendly, and high in alcoholic content have sounded off the alarms among healthcare professionals and parents. The best thing for parents to do with a teen is to watch for warning signs of heavy drinking like memory lapses or dips in grades, and make their expectations about alcohol known in a warm and kind way. It is good to discuss that if use occurs. to emphasize that it is done responsibly. Teach teens to immediately dial 911 if anyone suspects that alcohol poisoning or adverse events may occur; and have a protocol in place in case a teen attends a party and feels unsafe or uncomfortable, to help remove them from that situation.
Tips for anyone who feels they may be addicted to alcohol
Binge drinking can often lead to alcohol addiction, which is a disease like many others. Help is often needed in order to break the addiction, and hypnosis has been known to help greatly in quitting addictions to drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Consult an experienced professional such as www.cindygalvin.co.uk for help.