More and more
teenagers and young individuals are now resorting to alcohol possibly as an
option to relieve the immense pressure to succeed. If not corrected right in
the beginning, the window of opportunity to influence their behavior could be
narrowed, if not lost altogether, according to some educators and
substance-abuse specialists. Parents need to talk directly to their children
about alcohol and the consequences of using it.
It has been
found that teenage
is on the rise and this doesn't just involve troubled youngsters.
It has been estimated
that globally every year, around 320,000 young people between the ages of 15
and 29 die due to alcohol
misuse. Most of these deaths are reportedly caused due to car accidents,
the 1980s, a counseling technique called 'motivational interviewing' was
widely used to help people with alcohol problems to try and overcome their
ambivalence and change their behavior. The counsellors would first listen, then
adopt a non-judgmental, non-confrontational stance, highlight the negative
consequences of drinking
, thus motivating the
person with drinking problem towards a positive change.
a recent study show that these counseling
techniques may be of
limited benefit. The results of this study was published in The Cochrane
Library in which it was shown that by and large, motivational interviewing did
not reduce drinking or alter alcohol-related behavior in young individuals.
The researchers studied the
results of 66 trials involving a total of 17,901 young people aged 25 and
under. Young people who were at high risk of alcohol-related
participated in these studies.
In 49 trials, the study
participants attended one individual session whereas in the other trials, they
attended group sessions or a mixture of group and individual sessions. The
participants included university and college students, army recruits, prisoners
and young people attending healthcare centers, youth centers and job centers.
It was found that at the end of
four months, the amount and frequency of drinking for participants who
underwent counselling had only slightly reduced as compared with people who did
not have counselling sessions.
Participants who had counseling
sessions had about 1 and a half fewer drinks per week compared to those who had
no counselling sessions. The number of drinking days was almost the same in
both groups: 2.57 days per week compared to 2.74 in untreated people. It was
also seen that participants reduced their maximum blood alcohol
levels just marginally from 0.144% to 0.129%, but their average blood alcohol
levels remained the same.
Thus it was concluded that
motivational interviewing had no effect on alcohol-related problems, binge
drinking, drunk-driving and other risky behaviors related to the use of alcohol
in young individuals.
David Foxcroft, a faculty member
of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, UK and one
of the lead researchers said "The results suggest that for young people who
misuse alcohol there is no substantial, meaningful benefit of motivational
interviewing. The effects we saw were probably too small to be of relevance to
policy or practice."
He further added "There may be
certain groups of young adults for whom motivational interviewing is more
successful in preventing alcohol-related problems, but we need to see larger
trials in these groups to be able to make any firm conclusions."
"Responsible drinking" - that's an oxymoron. So
think before you drink, especially if you are young, for more often than not,
it ends you up in a disaster!!