By Oscar Cherniak
Recently, I interviewed
a member of our student body who shared her thoughts with
me about drinking until drunk and how it made her feel. These
are the thoughts of our very own Zoey Jones:
I think I learned my lesson about drinking.
The stuff tastes terrible and the effects the next day are
worse. I've been trying to figure out why drinking
is so popular with teenagers, trying to figure out the appeal.
I guess the reasons are kind of the same as the reasons
I chose to drink that night - I was trying to be someone
I'm not, just trying to fit in. It feels so easy when
you're drunk. Until the vomiting and the hangover
set in, you feel invincible… like you can get away
I believe that Zoey's experience
is typical for many, and there are always new ways for the
booze moguls to attract new followers. In my research on statistics
about teen drinking, I chanced upon something called Alcopops.
Alcopops is a term that has been created to describe a kind
of alcoholic drink that is a mix of alcohol and pop –
alcopop. These drinks are really controversial because they're
marketed at teens, not adults. These drinks make drinking
easier than ever for teens, as they remove the biggest obstruction
to drinking – the horrible taste.
Even though the legal drinking age in most
of Canada is 19 and 21 in the United States, alcopops are
the most popular teen drink to hit the market in years. Once
I started to do some research, I was totally shocked at the
- 90% of teens think that offering newer,
sweeter drinks (alcopops) will make teens want to try drinking
- 41% of teens between the ages of 14
– 18 have tried alcopops
- Twice as many 14 – 16 year olds
prefer alcopops over beer or other alcohol
- Teens like the look, the sweet taste
and the easy-to-drink nature of alcopops
- Teens were more aware of the brand
names of alcopops than adults
These facts have scary implications for
teens, given that most alcopops are being marketed to teens.
Even more disturbing is the fact that most alcopops contain
at least 5% alcohol by volume (the same as most Canadian beer
and a higher percentage of alcohol than American beer).
Teen drinking is a problem that needs to be addressed through
education, and not sugar coated with the sweet taste of 'alcopop'.
Make the right decision for you and know what you're
getting into if you decide to drink. Just remember, you control
your actions, but if you're drunk, you sacrifice that
control and possibly your self-esteem as well. Trust me, you
don't want to throw up alcopop all over your shoes.
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