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Alcoholism impacts teenagers


FATHER JAMES SCHWERTLEY

      In researching the drinking habits of teenagers it is interesting to note a survey taken at an all-girl Catholic school.  A survey was taken of all the students by the school newspaper, insuring individual anonymity.

   According to the survey, about three-fourths of the students said they drink (424 yes and 239 no). A total of 66 frosh said they drank – about one-third of the class.

      In response to the question “How often do you drink?” 105 said less than once a month, 134 every two weeks and 79 every week or more. Ninety-eight said they drink to get drunk; 253 said they drink because they like to or like the taste; and 60 said they drink because their friends do.

      Three-fourths of the respondents said they drink mostly at parties. Twenty-eight said they sometimes drink alone.

   Responding to a question about driving under the influence of alcohol or being a passenger with someone who was, 290 said they had; 366 said they had not.

      About 30 percent said they had access to legal age ID, and about the same number said they had been bar hopping on the weekends.

      Twenty-eight said they had been arrested or picked up for a drinking-related offense. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is about the same number who said they sometimes drink alone.

      Statistically, it is about the same number of people in that size of school who would be expected to be alcoholic. About 650 students answered the survey.

      The survey clearly indicates that drinking is much more prevalent in girls than in the past. No longer is there a stigma for girls to drink or get drunk, so more are doing both.

  The survey indicates a need for both parents and teachers to encourage more dialogue on alcohol and alcohol abuse with young people, and look at their own drinking habits. Their example has a significant effect on these young people, now girls more than ever.

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