Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Break Has Hit Key West, and Under Age Drinking Has Risen Its Ugly Head

     As a barman, there is one thing that scares the heck out of me, serving  an under aged person.   This is the worst time of the year for this as well and I do not condone this practice at all..   The bars and stores are busy and you find yourself  "in the weeds" as 8 to 10 will all come through the door at once.  The truth is it is the most likely time to get busted for serving a minor by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms people as well.   This is no excuse, but it can happen.  The biggest trouble comes when an older person orders several cocktails and takes them out to the porch out of my sight. 

     When the college aged kids hit Key West for Spring Break, I hope that a lot of the parents try to talk to them about under aged drinking, but I feel their words are falling on deaf ears.  Although recent studies have found that talking to kids about alcohol can lead to lower drinking rates, even among college students.

     Robert Turrisi, PhD, a psychologist at Penn State University, and colleagues gave parents booster brochures to help them talk to their recent high school graduates about drinking before they left for college. Four months after this intervention, students were drinking less than their peers.  In another study, Kim Fromme, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin asked college students to take a survey that assessed family and peer attitudes and level of caring.  They found that students who felt that their parents were aware and cared were likely to drink less.
     As students are adjusting to campus  life, peers become a stronger influence than the parents sometinmes.  In schools where there is an emphasis on athletics and where sororities and fraternities are prevalent, drinking rates tend to be higher.  Still students tend to overestimate how much their classmates are actually drinking and may drink more to try to fit in.  Parents can help with a reality check, reminding students of their goals, and just letting them know they care."
The transition from High School to College can be the undoing of a lot of good judgement, especially if it is their first time away from home and parental control.   "
     This is a part of a really good article  by Lise Gervais for Public Action Management.  
     For college students, you will want to know about their Spring Break plans and communicate your desire for their safety and well being.  Remember... you have more   Having these kinds of discussions with kids of any age can be difficult for both parent and child, but there is help.  The Partnership for A Drug-Free America has a very informative site about the development of the teen brain and how to start a discussion on drinking. Substances Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( has an interactive video that is worth the time and very helpful.  The American Academy of Pediatrics website   also has helpful information on talking with kids about alcohol. 
influence than you think!
     The people you keep out of trouble by talking to you kids about under aged drinking goes a lot further than just the kids, it keeps a lot of people that are on the street save from drunken actions and the store keepers and bartenders that are bombarded with the students life safe and out of trouble with the law as well.