Under the Influence: the role of alcohol in culture
Drinking alcoholic beverages existed as early as the Stone Age era, and there it remarkably spread across the globe from the ancient pyramids of Egypt to the popular Silk Road of China. This cultural tradition begun only for the sole purpose of religious rituals based upon sociological and geographical conditions of the empire; but now, it has spread to where ignorant humans would never imagine possible. Consuming alcoholic beverages has made a vast transition and now it is merely seen as a jubilant event for excitement.
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Drinking has commenced its aim on the immature youth with the assistance of modern-day media and influential pop culture. This admired custom developed into the latest social trend that can only disperse to more innocent peers. Juvenile drinking should not be kept active and is in an immense need of an immediate stop. The dangers of drinking are taken carelessly when they should be taken into cautious consideration. Juvenile drinkers do not believe the seriousness of this crisis. Drinking severely clouds human judgment and therefore humans have the natural outcome to perform poor decisions that can become regrettable, since mature drinking is beginning to target the adolescent youth, alcoholic advertisement must be banned and juvenile drinking laws should become strictly enforced with consequential punishment.
The advertisement of alcohol is growing seemingly toward the audience of innocent minors. This universal advertising can only lead to a heavy youth exposure. Advertisements of merchandise is made for the purposes of increasing sales and revenue and to strike the audience to become interested in the product shown. The extent of alcohol marketing comes from all directions to target the youth, such as on common television, everyday magazines, ordinary in-store beer displays, local billboards , standard beer promotional items or branded merchandise, etc. If these advertisements are coming from all directions then the youth is bound to eventually give in and become a drinker. One of the biggest brand of beer is Bud Light and, with their sport beer commercials, they capture the audience of minors based upon their slogan “A sure sign of a good time” and “Here we go” Alcoholic beverages are displayed on television as an important aspect for an enjoyable time and these advertisements only accelerates the youth to start drinking. Young people are more likely to start drinking than smoking cigarettes or using illegal drugs, therefore the earlier teenagers begin to drink, the chances of becoming more dependent on alcohol later in life are at a greater risk (Jernigan 3). Drinking comes with a mature sense of responsibility and an understanding of the effects of consuming alcohol. Heavy advertisement only increases the chances of a person drinking before the age of twenty one, thus depicting advertisement as the initial spark that encourages the adolescent youth to drink without understanding the important consequences. A 2001 to 2007 poll was taken, by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, stating youth ages twelve to twenty were twenty two times more likely to see the product shown in the advertisement than the industry-funded “Drink Responsibly” message (Jernigan 5). The “Drinking Responsibly” message is spotted at the end of the commercial just seconds before ending; it fails to deliver its purpose to prevent audiences from drinking alcoholic beverages because the audience sees the exaggerated product and ignores this pointless, pathetic message.
If the banishment of alcohol advertisement cannot be met then the only choice is to regulate beer and liquor advertisement for the benefit of alcohol education. Alcohol is the leading drug problem among the youth therefore the ads should be regulated in a public manner because the people have a long lasting tradition of regulating drug ads to protect and secure the public interest (Leo 2). The public can regulate the advertisement of beer commercials to display at certain scheduled times, such as 1:00 AM- 6:00 AM or anti-alcohol organizations can develop more commercials about the consequences of alcohol like drinking and driving and health problems. This could be beneficial to the community because, if more realistic visuals was displayed on national television, it could maybe strike the youth how drinking is a responsible privilege that should not be taken casually (Lowe 1). Alcohol advertisement gives a negative outcome toward the youth by increasing their chances to become more dependent on alcoholic beverages, therefore alcohol advertisement should be banned, but if not then it should be at least regulated with better commercials that will intimidate the youth to wait for the right age and become aware of the outcomes of drinking.
The minimum age ,21, drinking law is enforced inadequately and should be reenforced strictly. Only two get arrested out of every thousand occasions where a minor has violated illegal drinking under the age of 21 and then in every 100,000 juvenile drinking occasions 5 result in an administrative action against an alcohol outlet (Wagenaar). With the arrest at hand the punishment for underage drinking should be increased by the violators and with this an effective administrative system to rule the penalties. As the community, the public interest should reduce the alcoholic accessibility how the youth is able to obtain alcoholic beverages so therefore there can be a less probability of alcohol-related occasions. By an increase in the juvenile drinking laws prohibiting the sales or provisions of selling alcoholic beverages to the youth and consumption and prohobition of the minor, resource limits the quantity a business could sell and other barriers to make an increase in the arrest rates for minors in the possession of alcohol (Wagenaar). The community can stop the valuable lives being thrown away for a can of alcohol and stop the ignorance of the youth by just preventing the alcohol accessibility being sold over the counter where it is taken advantage of by the minors.
The most important component of juvenile drinking is to contain and reduce the audience of minors. The public can follow through with the demands of the strict law enforcement and effectively support anti-juvenile drinking by striking the youth at a young age, therefore it will give them the opportunity to learn how to drink carefully and responsibly. This obtainable goal can be met with police outreach organizations, a better drinking awareness program, and with the aid of parent and community guidance the young minors can learn how to drink responsibly with knowing the consequences of their actions as well as the dangers of illegal abuse (DiMatteo). After the community can invite the well-informed youth to training sessions that offer information about the health issues related to alcohol and penalties of alcohol. The guidance counselors need to be motivational to, “Teach, and Not Preach,” this causes the young adults to be treated fairly and equally like adults, thus showing how much the youth want to do the right thing and shown in the right direction (DiMatteo). This will cause a chain reaction for all of the youth to become unified and respond to each lesson learned according to their own special gifts. The local police can play a significant role by assigning one local officer to juvenile drinking, therefore a reduction in minor drinking will occur. Law enforcement agencies often receive a lack of support from their local communities and from their own departments; for a successful effort to reduce the audience of influenced drinkers and enforcing the minimum drinking age, a political will of the public will determine to take a meaningful stand against juvenile drinking.
David Jernigan. “Children Are Overexposed to Alcohol Advertising.” Opposing Viewpoints: Advertising. Ed. Roman Espejo. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Cypress Falls High School. 24 Mar. 2011
Leiber, Laurie. “Alcoholic Beverage Advertising Should Be Restricted.” Contemporary Issues Companion: Teen Alcoholism. Ed. Laura K. Egendorf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Cypress Falls High School. 24 Mar. 2011
Leo, John. “Television Liquor Ads May Promote Underage Drinking.” Opposing Viewpoints: Alcohol. Ed. Scott Barbour. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Cypress Falls High School. 24 Mar. 2011
Lowe, Paul. “Perhaps Madam Would Prefer Something Less Robust.” Alcohol Cartoons and Comics. 27 March 2011
National Clearinghouse For Alcohol And Drug Information. “Teenage Drinking Can Lead to Automobile Accidents.” Contemporary Issues Companion: Teen Alcoholism. Ed. Laura K. Egendorf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Cypress Falls High School. 24 Mar. 2011
Ralph DiMatteo. “Education And Police And Community Support Are Necessary.”At Issue: Should the Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered?. Ed. Stefan Kiesbye.Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Cypress Falls High School. 27 Mar. 2011
Services, U.S. Department Of Health And Human. “Underage Drinking Is a Serious Problem.” Opposing Viewpoints: Alcohol. Ed. Andrea C. Nakaya. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Cypress Falls High School. 24 Mar. 2011
Wagenaar, Alexander C, and Mark Wolfson. “Minimum Drinking-Age Laws Should Be Strongly Enforced.” Opposing Viewpoints: Alcohol. Ed. Scott Barbour. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Cypress Falls High School. 24 Mar. 2011