Young People Alcohol And Crime

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Young People Alcohol and Crime

Young People Alcohol and Crime


It is widely accepted that young people, not accustomed to the effects of alcohol, are more likely to be unable to control their behaviour whilst under its influence. The problem of adolescent drinking cannot be seen as a separate problem from that of teenage problematic behaviour. Much of the motivation for young people to drink alcohol is that they see it as 'adult' and 'sophisticated'. Whilst there is a great deal of concern about drinking leading to disorder, the fact remains that drinking in itself is relatively socially accepted for young people.

The majority of children between 10-14 years will have had some contact with alcohol. This contact has mostly been at home, with parents and other relatives. It is generally recognised that the home environment is the best place for young people to experience alcohol. Parental supervision normally leads to consumption of alcohol in moderate quantities and can act as an important influence on the development of sensible attitudes towards alcohol. There is no doubt that culture plays an important role in developing social or anti-social behaviour, but it is the extent to which young people are exposed to a particular influence that matters.

From about the age of 15 years, young people tend to move their experiences with alcohol away from the home. When moving on to drinking socially with their peers, they take on a more adult style, their consumption of alcohol increases and their attitudes towards alcohol become more adult. Young people then attach drinking to an essential part of the transition to adulthood. It can then become more acceptable that many young people will drink to get drunk, and some may engage in anti-social and disorderly behaviour because of their alcohol consumption.

The Amount Young People Drink

The extent of alcohol abuse among young offenders is high. In an Audit Commission survey, half the subjects on supervision orders said that they got drunk at least once a week, a slightly smaller percentage spoke of problem drinking within their family.

Alcohol is the most common drug used by young people. Regular consumption of alcohol often starts early on, with 89% of children admitting to having had their first alcoholic drink by 13 years of age. Alcohol abuse among young people can often be linked to poor school achievement, unsociable behaviour, truancy, unemployment, problems with relationships and delinquency.

The true extent of alcohol abuse among young people is difficult to measure. Many of the surveys conducted have targeted school children, leaving out those children absent from school for reasons such as truancy or exclusion - a sample of young people who are particularly at risk of becoming involved with alcohol and or drugs.

When young people are asked about the age at which they had their first alcoholic drink, the younger children tend to give earlier ages than the older groups. As a respondent's age increases their definition of what constitutes as a proper alcoholic drink ...
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